ERIC Number: ED435912
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Advocating on Behalf of Older Adults.
Goodman, Jane; Waters, Elinor
Approximately 34 million people, or 13 percent of the population of the United States, are 65 or older. It is not just the increasing numbers that make it important for counselors to serve as advocates for older adults. Ageism, societal marginalization, vulnerability, and elder abuse are growing problems for this population. There is evidence that advocacy works. Mandatory retirement has been eliminated, giving those who wish to work after 65 that opportunity. Social Security now pays benefits not only to wives and widows, but also to divorced women who were married for ten or more years. While factors point to the need for counselors to advocate for the needs of older adults and their families, caution is raised against treating older adults merely as people who need to be served. Advocacy may mean helping older adults to advocate for themselves as well as intervening on their behalf. By definition, older adults are survivors, and as counselors and advocates it is important to help them identify and utilize the repertoire of coping skills they have developed over a lifetime. This paper discusses advocacy strategies including helping older adults to advocate for themselves; working with existing organizations; and advocating at the political level. A list of suggested resources provides contact information for professional associations as well as membership and advocacy organizations. Two suggested readings are also listed. (MKA)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Chapter 8 in "Advocacy in Counseling: Counselors, Clients, & Community"; see CG 029 604.