The paper "Critical Reflection on Ageing and Older People in Australia" is a good example of a case study on social science. This is a critical reflection of my understanding of the ageing process and older people in Australia. It is divided into three sections. In section one, the reflection is based on the factors that have shaped my understanding of ageing in general. The factors that are reflected upon range from my personal experiences and culture to the knowledge gained from the coursework. In the second section, the reflection is based on my hopes and fears about the ageing process.
In the third section, the reflection is based on how the factors that shape my perception towards ageing influence my approach towards social work. Throughout the work, reference is made to various theories of ageing, models of social work and approaches towards helping the elderly in society. Factors influencing my perception of older age The values and principles I have developed over the course of time are of great influence on my perceptions of the ageing process. According to Crawford and Walker (2008, p.
3), values are beliefs that are unique to particular individuals and are developed from two sources: personal experiences and moral, religious or philosophical ideology. My personal beliefs and ideas about old age conform to this definition. My experiences with the elderly people throughout my life have played a key role in shaping my perceptions towards ageing. Since my childhood, I have been brought up to believe that the old are wise and highly resourceful individuals. It is this mindset that has informed my values of respect for old age since I consider it a symbol of wisdom.
Furthermore, this positive attitude towards the aged in society has been determined by my interactions with the elderly. Largely, such interactions have been positive. This has shaped my opinion towards older individuals in society. With regard to ideologies, my values and attitudes towards old age have largely been influenced by religious and moral ideologies. These have been accumulated over a long period of time and have persisted regardless of the stereotypical portrayal of the elderly that abounds in the media and the society in general.
Another factor that has shaped my perception towards old age is knowledge about the process that I have gained in the course of my studies. I have been exposed to different theories about the ageing process and what it means not only to the individuals involved but also to the entire society. Of great importance has been knowledgeable about the ageing process itself and how different issues are of concern to individuals during different stages in their lives. Hughes and Heycox (2010, p. 32) identify three important stages that individuals go through in the course of ageing: the mid-life stage, the ‘ young old’ stage and the ‘ old old’ stage.
During the mid-life stage, many individuals get greatly concerned with what they have achieved so far in their lives and what they can do in the remaining time to achieve their goals in life. The issues of concern shift to financial stability and physical wellbeing during the second stage of ageing which occurs when individuals are between the ages of 60 and 74 years (Hughes & Heycox 2010, p. 33).
It is at this stage that retirement and the possibility of being alone as a result of the death of a significant other occurs to many individuals. After individuals get to 75 years of age, their main concern shifts to how well they are in terms of their physical and mental age.
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