HCS 557 week 1 final paper perspective on Aging Diedre Brown 1

Topics: Family, Old age, Retirement Pages: 6 (1344 words) Published: April 25, 2015


Evolution of Roles and Societal Perspectives on Aging
Diedre Brown
HCS 557
February 23, 2015
Dr. Lorraine Jackson
Evolution of Roles and Societal Perspectives on Aging
It is important to understand how roles and perspectives have changed over time. The alterations can be an effect caused by societal and economical developments. Understanding the evolution of roles and perspectives provides a clearer picture on how aging may affect you in the future. In this report we will focuses on aging population from World War II to present day. I will describe the changing role of older adults, and describes the differences in perspectives on aging in America. I also will explain each cause of the changes in the role and perspectives of the aging population. Changing Roles

The time from the World War II to the Present Day, from 1949 to 2015, there have been many changes that our nation has gone through. These changes have affected the roles of the elders because of the changes the American family has endured. Along with each generation came their own specific role change within the family. After World War II over time the role of the family has changed from the grandparents, father, mother, and children, from a farming family to that of an industrial family. The industrial families consist of the working father, house wife mother and the children. As time continue to pass the family structure changed to meet the needs of a changing society. Now we see the introduction of the working father and the working mother and the number of children growing smaller on average to three children families. With birth control women in the work place has caused the structure to change again, to the single parent family with children or no children at all. The role of the work force has changed also over this period of time. From one were the father was the breadwinner and the mother stayed at home with the children. Over time the wife was introduced to the work force to the point where the children came later or after the children started school the mother would go out to work. Now women are working before they marry if they marry at all. Many remain single although they may have a child, the single parent household, headed by the women is a common place family structure today. As the worker ages in the work place and the approach the age of retirement their major life role changes again. Often never discussed than is discussed is the fact that women’s employment has increased, men’s employment has decreased. During the last 25 years women’s employment has increased by 30% or more in every age category up to age 55 while men’s employment has declined in every age group over age 25. This trend represents a profound shift in lifestyles and contradicts long-held cultural assumptions, Fraser (2015).

What has caused these changes in the roles of the family and work force over the years; and more importantly how have they affected the position of the elder person of today. There are strong economic forces behind the change in the roles we see in the family and workforce. For most of the younger families, there needs to be a two income family to meet the needs to support a family, the children’s education and the couple’s retirement. Almost all younger families and many older ones now need the wife and mother to economically contributor to the family’s finances. Family income has dropped over the last decade and a half, unless there is a second earner to keep from losing ground. Paid employment is now the accepted form of self-insurance for women as well as men. The job brings benefits such as health insurance and social security are a mandatory element of self-sufficiency when increasing life spans are taken into account Fraser (2015). The social benefits are needed when retirement and old age befalls us. The changing family structure and work force has change the idea of marriage and divorce is introduced as an option where it was...
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