Increasing diversity of family and social relationships
Initial post assignment for class:
Using the learning materials to support your claims, respond to the following prompts in your original post:
Discuss which demographic trends you found interesting; why did you find them interesting?
What are potential impacts of the aging population on the United States as a whole?
Discuss life expectancy trends and future population concerns.
Identify how these trends and concerns will impact your role as a service provider for aging adults.
My classmateâs response to above questions: (Jeanie (Reply 1)
Week 1 Discussion 1.2: Demographic Trends in Aging and Population Impacts
A demographic trend is defined as a term used to refer to any measurable change in the characteristics of a population over time (Demographic, 2021). One of the demographic trends that I find interesting is the increasing diversity of family and social relationships. I find this trend interesting because growing up as children we were mostly told about the traditional family model: a mother, a father, and their children. Over the years, the concept of family has transformed to include situations where grandparents are primary parents, same-sex parent couples exist, and single parent families are not unusual. I appreciate these developments because as a woman who has high aspirations for my education and career, I feel confident knowing that I will be able to adopt a child on my own at a later age if I desire to, and this will not be a foreign concept to society. According to Plewes and Waite (2013), âMarriage and families have been âdeinstitutionalized,â and the social norms that once governed the expectations and obligations of individuals have weakenedâ (p. 1). This demographic trend is a step in the right direction towards a more opportunistic and individualized approach to creating a family.
Another demographic trend that I found interesting is the dynamics of intergenerational obligations and supports. The literature by Plewes and Waite (2013) states, âThe âempty nestâ today comes later and remains open or cluttered. These supports may bring financial, emotional, and other strains for parents at midlife and beyondâ (p. 1). This is a phenomenon that I have been witnessing since graduations from high school, and again upon graduation college. I have noticed a higher incidence of my peersâ parents who are paying their adult childâs monthly rent or purchasing their first home. The authors argue that these investments made by parents now in their young adult children may transpire into greater support when parents are old (Plewes & Waite, 2013, p.1). I find this trend thought provoking because I do not agree with this rationale at all. I am grateful to have been encouraged to start working when I was a teenager, and I feel that it made me into a capable adult who was able to learn the value of money and move out independently after one year of living at home after undergraduate studies. However, I am open to exploring how this trend may have a positive impact on the aging population as a whole.
Dynamics of intergenerational obligations and supports
Societies ideas around aging have evolved over time due to contributions from both social and economic sources (Plewes & Waite, 2013). The potential impact of the aging population on the United States are numerous. With life expectancy trending upwards each year, it is evident that there will be a larger number of elderly persons who require care and assistance from the younger generations. Researchers explain that the main problem is the impact of an increased aging population on public programs for the elderly (Lee, 2014). Â Economically, this may have positive and negative impacts on the United States. Although a longer life expectancy may create more jobs in fields such as assistive living and homecare, it also has the potential to inundate the health care system with a higher volume of patients who are chronically ill or have multiple comorbidities to manage. Population concerns include over development of real estate and residential living that leads to the destruction of our environment. GreguÅ¡ & Guillebaud (2020), writes that one of the roots of overpopulation is the concept that population growth is a direct result of mortality decline. If more people are dying at a later age, there are more people on Earth at one time using resources and essentially taking up space (p. 5). Scientists have warned that the pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth places demands on the natural world that may overwhelm current efforts to accomplish a sustainable future (GreguÅ¡ & Guillebaud, 2020, p. 2).
These trends will impact my role as a service provider by fueling the need for continued learning and acquisition of up-to-date treatment modalities for my patients with multiple comorbidities. These trends will undoubtedly center my geriatric care around health maintenance and promotion to ensure that the health care system is utilized appropriately and efficiently by my patient population. As a provider serving aging adults, I will have to be aware of which patients of mine have adequate supports and which are requiring more assistance in their daily living as they age. Awareness of physical and cognitive limitations and providing resources to combat risks can decrease the incidence of unfortunate events such as falls or medication self-misadministration. A few of the psychosocial themes that I expect to discuss with my aging patient population include planning for life as a retiree, identifying and securing support and accommodation services, nurturing supportive relationships with family and friends, avoiding loneliness, and dealing with grief end end-of-life issues (Burke & Lakin, 2019). Â