discussion 7 pt 2

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Disability and Aging

A growing number of older adults (age 65 and older) are living their longevity years while enduring a variety of physical and cognitive impairments. These individuals have the potential to reshape how society views and understands the concept of disability and aging. In our everyday language and culture, we are surrounded by the terms old age and disability. These terms and the social identities they signify tend to remain apart based on age cohorts and society’s perception. There is a tendency to reserve the term disabled for young and middle-aged people and instead the term sick or ill is used to refer to older adults. People become accustomed to society’s perceptions and labels, and that is how older adults view themselves, and rarely older adults accept the social portrayal identity of persons living with a disability.

The concepts of disability and old age retain core elements that are based on their similar history of struggle, dependency and needs that distinguish the plight of each group member and make them attractive recipients of social welfare and healthcare assistance. However, this support diminishes when the rights and privileges that are granted to a person who is blind or a person who requires the use of a wheelchair for mobility, are extended to the flexible lists of disabling conditions that are recognized under the law. This problem of separation between disability and aging represent missed opportunities for understanding and clinical care because disability and aging are trajectories that interact across time.

1. After reviewing the Learning Resources and watching the suggested class video, please answer the questions below:

a) To Do: Watch the following YouTube Video: Older Americans Act: Overview of Consumer Perspective. Discuss/post your comments about the class-related video. Older Americans Act of 1965 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9VnqnmJ3fg

b) Should the ADA become “age-based” to benefit only specific groups within a certain age? What would be the pros and cons if this regulation was implemented?

c) Based on your observations – Does the ADA protect the rights of older adults (65+) without a medically diagnosed disability? Please explain.

d) Is it for the older adult’s best interest to see themselves how society perceives them as being sick or ill because they are “old” and not as having a disability because of physical or mental limitations? Please explain.

e) Some people believe that there are too many laws and regulations to protect different populations. Should policymakers identify both groups (people with disabilities and older adults 65+) under the same social protection and civil rights laws and policies for budgetary benefits (one group = one budget) and social inclusion privileges? Do each group here identified have the same needs across their life span? Please explain and support your answer with two or more examples.

Replies to class mate:

Classmate 1:

b) Should the ADA become “age-based” to benefit only specific groups within a certain age? What would be the pros and cons if this regulation was implemented?

As we have learned, the ADA is “wide-ranging legislation intended to make American society more accessible and inclusive to all people with disabilities” (Week 3 Discussion, 2019). If the ADA was to become “age-based” the definition would have to be revised. The argument would be with Americans living longer lives through medical advancements, does this, in fact, make the elderly stand alone in the services that are needed to sustain quality life? In the fact sheet from the National Institue of Health (2010), it states that “research demonstrates that disease and disability are not an inevitable part of aging” (pg.1), thus, disputing the idea that elderly people will in most cases be disabled. So I do not feel that the ADA should become “age-based” since the protections and rights that are offered through the ADA are not specific to any disability or group of people. The cons to this being enforced would most definitely be loops holes that would allow some to slip through the cracks in care and protection. Defining disability is complicated and inconsistencies could leave many unprotected from employment discrimination, state and local government accessibility, and public accommodations. In my opinion, I do not feel that there would be any pros to making this amendment to ADA coverage based on the ideas that they are founded upon.

Class mate 2:

a) To Do: Watch the following YouTube Video: Older Americans Act: Overview of Consumer Perspective. Discuss/post your comments about the class-related video. Older Americans Act of 1965 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9VnqnmJ3fg

After watching the video, I was quite impressed that some laws such as the Older Americans Act (OAA) have been promoting the well-being of Americans 60 years old and above through services and programs. I never knew such a law existed. Some of the services provided under the OAA include: home-delivered and communal meals, family caregiver support, health services home assistance for the elderly, Job training and volunteer opportunities, and protections from elder abuse. According to the video, the AOO as been reauthorized six times and the 2006 amendment authorized it for five years through 2011. I think every country should endeavor to implement such laws such as the AOO in order to promote the well-being of any person who is 60 or above.

Health management:

Class mate 1:

“Quality assurance program (OQA) is aimed in establishing measurable quality indicators and standards, and ensuring a coordinated approach to the delivery of high quality care” (Health Promot Perspect (HPP), 2018). The program was based on a model devised by the Institute of Medicine and uses the pneumonic “STEEEPS” (Safe, Timely, Efficient, Effective, Equitable, Patient and Staff) to focus key priorities of the program. Quality assurance programs must themselves be evaluated for success, to determine whether they meet their desired goals. I believe that involving all departments with strategic goals and KPI’s help to improve patient care on all levels.

As the researcher conducting the study, my focus would have been improving patient care by speaking on the mission and vision of the hospital. Strategic goals and educating the staff on how to execute them. In this case, “A minority of participants had very limited understanding of the OQA, for example, they did not know what the abbreviation “OQA” stood for. One participant was not familiar with either the OQA or the KPI” (HPP, 2018). As, one manager emphasized the importance of sharing information and the involvement of all hospital staff in the OQA program, helps to address this gap. I agree that standardizing the OQA provided a method for standardizing hospital practices, and maintaining them at an agreed high standard. All employees would follow the same standard of work for all patients the same every time. This would increase the quality of patient care for all.

Class mate 2:

Reflect on the document and share your perspective on the study importance, choice of measures and the conclusions made by the researchers. If you were a researcher conducting this study what would have you done differently? Why and how? Do you agree with the concussions of the study? Why yes or no? Offer examples to support your opinion.

This study was conducted to evaluate and implement the quality assurance process and understanding in countries that have less resources, this specific one was conducted in Cambodia. This is important because the health care in a lot of third world countries suffers greatly and have higher risks of infection and even death with minor to moderate procedures and illnesses. For example, look at the fetal and maternal death rates in some third world countries countries with limited resources, very scary! In this study, the researchers found that implementing a quality assurance program was well received but people did not fully understand what the processes meant or how to do them, it was confusing to them. I think the study went fine, it was split up into three activities to evaluate. The researchers made a Quality Assurance Committee, showed how to monitor patients, beds, activities, etc. They also broke these into three groups: medical, non-medical and nurses.

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