A Study On The Elderly Population Essay

770 Words Dec 18th, 2015 4 Pages
Introduction As the “baby boomer” generation ages, and the lifespan of adults lengthen, the number of older people is rapidly increasing. According to The National Association of Social Workers, statistic project that by the year 2030, the number of individuals ranging in age from 65 or older is expected to double, equaling a total of 70 million (Aging, n.d.). This increase in the elderly population creates the need for counselors to have vast knowledge related to aging individuals as challenges regarding environmental, social, psychological, health care, and economics continue.
A study done in 1986 by Schmidt and Boland asked undergraduates to identify terms, both positive and negative, that they associate with elderly individuals. The results were 99 traits, 36 of which were positive and 63, which were negative. The positive involved terms such as John Wayne conservative, matriarch or patriarch, or the perfect grandparent. While, the negative terms consisted of words such as despondent, mildly impaired, vulnerable, shrew, recluse, nosy and bag lady (Schmidt & Boland, 1986). Research by Cuddy, Norton, and Fiske (2005), identifies that multiple studies have also shown consistent stereotyping of elderly being high on warmth, but low in competence (Cuddy, Norton, & Fiske, 2005). Other stereotypes are that the elderly are frail, ill, not interested in sex or intimacy, and are inflexible and stubborn (Hummert, 1990). This writer feels that both the positive…

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