respond to two colleagues who addressed cultures that are different from the ones you addressed. Share an insight from reading your colleagues’ postings. Describe how you might incorporate the cultural perspectives on aging described by your colleagues into your own social work practice.
Make sure to provide APA citations and a reference list.
1-DA: n the United States we do not value our older citizens. Zastrow et al (2019) noted that the culture of America is extremely youth oriented. Advancements in technology and information storage have rendered the “village elder” or “village wise person” as obsolete. Elder people are to be brushed aside, placed in repositories to die. At the turn of the 21st century, 31% of older Americans, those 65 and older, lived alone, while in Japan 32% of the same demographic lived with children or others (Karasawa et al, 2011). The authors also stated that in Japan aging is seen as maturation, and the elderly are revered, respected, and honored. This is the antithesis of the American treatment of the elderly. In India the same mentality existed but has decayed to the point that, like in America, the elderly are being shuffled off to homes. A child or children will stay with the parents, and take care of them, only as long as there is financial gain (Lamb, 2009). I think these differences exist because of the narcissistic youth-oriented culture of the US. The culture of the US is an amalgamation of so many other cultures from the planet but, we have not always incorporated the best aspects of every culture into our own. Further, as a large source of innovation, our technological advancement has surpassed our wisdom as a people of a very young country. we have become extremely enthralled with social media, so much so that the idea of a person sitting in front of a camera and prattling on a social media platform is now a job and this person is an “influencer.” The way different perspectives can impact social work practice is in cultural competence. An occidental American attempting to serve a family may not fully understand the dynamics or why the younger people are insisting on keeping the older ones around since they seemingly do not contribute; not realizing that this is the way of Japanese households. Or the reverse could also be true but in either case there is a breakdown in communication because the social worker did not exercise due diligence.
Post a comparison of your culture’s perspective on aging to the perspectives of the two cultures you researched.
The cultural perspective of aging in my culture is that there are insufficient resources for the elderly. Older adults are living longer and are retiring less than they used to. Those who did retire depended on Social Security, Medicare, and other government programs to assist with meeting their needs (Zastrow et al., 2019). There are more than ten times as many people over 65 as in 1900. Part of this is due to increased healthcare, better medical care, and other medical advancements.
The first culture I researched was the Greeks, who have several traditions and superstitions that can vary from region to region. Family is always important; the young respect their elders, and they value their time with each other, family, and friends. Since the Greeks are very family-oriented, they will have elaborate celebrations; weddings and baptisms are the most important gatherings of all family members. In 2020, people more significant than 65 years old accounted for 22.28% of the overall population of Greece compared to 6.8% in 1951(Papadimitriou et al., 2021). Greeks also are very proud of their reputation, status, and honor. They often feel pressured to keep their family name in a good light and for them to praise their family’s achievements publicly. It is not uncommon for generations of Greeks to live in the same house, grandparents, parents, and children. The official religion is the Greek Orthodox Christian faith. In a Gallup poll in 2009, 71% of Greeks stated that their religion is essential to them and their day-to-day life.
The second culture I choose to research is the culture of Thailand. Thais are also very family-oriented and often live very close to one another if not together. Thailand has a freedom from religion, but most are Buddhists. Thai culture states that while the young will respect their elders, everyone is to respect Buddha images and the monks in Thailand. Children are often taken to the temple to listen to Buddha’s teachings and participate in other religious activities. When it comes to celebrating marriages, there are two components to a ceremony. A Buddhist component includes recitation of prayers, offerings of food and other gifts to monks, and images of Buddha. And a non-Buddhist component, which is celebrated with family and friends. Thai people believe in the afterlife, rebirth, or reincarnation (Suwannapong et al., 2022).
Explain why you think these differences exist.
These differences exist due to the areas where all the cultures are from. The United States is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world. There are a lot of options for religious options and health care, and most children will move out of their parents’ homes, getting jobs that support themselves and their families. The elderly tend to live alone or go into nursing homes.
Explain how different perspectives on aging might impact social work practice.
As a social worker, it will be essential to understand cultures and how their values can differ from other cultures and values. It would be necessary during end-of-life care to understand the religious beliefs, respect for dying, and how to work with the family after their loved one has passed.