Perception of the Older Adult

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My perception of the older adult has been somewhat influenced by society. Society's view is that older people need special treatment because of their poor health, lack of income, or because they lack social support. Therefore, they feel that the older adult needs extra help. At times I do feel the same way, but my view is more geared to what is called "compassionate stereotyping". This stereotype attempts to create sympathy for older people, but it doesn't give a true picture of later life. See, what society and I fail to realize about people 65 and older is that while they may begin to develop physical or other limitations, they learn to live with them and lead happy and productive lives.

Society has the biggest influence on not only my view of the older adult but also others. Another thing most people do not know or realize is that the largest minority group in the nation today is the elderly and it is proportionately growing larger each year. People, because of advance medical resources and technology are living longer. So, people are living longer which means change in society. Writing's from the past on the image of aging shows many of the biases people express today. For example, consider what Aristotle wrote: Old men, he says, " are sure about nothing and under-do everything…they are small-minded, because they have been humbled by life :their desires are set upon nothing more exalted or unusual than what will help them to keep alive…they live by memory rather than hope… this, again, is the cause of their loquacity; they are continually talking of the past, because they enjoy remembering it…Their sensual passions have either altogether gone or lost their vigour." So, from even as far back as the 1940s, society's view on the older adult has been that of stereotyping, discrimination, and prejudice, which in turn has shaped our view of the older adult today. Another thing that contributes to my perception of the older adult is the media. For example, on...
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