Growing older can be perceived as a time of hope or a time of despair. It often depends on the type of support systems an individual has around them. Communities who have invested time and resources on their senior citizen population tend to have a higher rate of active contributions from their senior citizen population. One area in which improvements can always be of assistance is the senior center. Senior centers offer a place to connect with other senior citizens and remain physically and mentally active. However, there is more involved in directing a senior center than opening the door and offering bingo. To meet all of the needs of the senior citizens is crucial in the ...view middle of the document...
If the aging adult is going to remain productive and active avoiding isolation is necessary for the elderly (World Health Organization 2007).
Those who choose to work with senior citizens need to ensure the quality of the services continually meet and exceed the minimum best practices. The aging population is living longer with the aid of medical advancements but their quality of life may be diminished due to those same advancements (World Health Organization 2007). The individual's health can be greatly affected by the lack of social, physical and mental stimulation. It is the role of the senior center to provide opportunities for these needs to be met. However, it takes significantly more knowledge, skill and creativity to provide for those needs than most individuals believe (World Health Organization 2007).
Directors of a senior center are therefore the key personnel who take direct responsibility for the welfare and well-being of the adults under their care (Torres, 2003). The employees of the senior center may be both paid and unpaid (volunteers) (Torres, 2003). All staff must be trained in basic understanding of an aging adult, recreational therapy, basic first aid, CPR, planning activities as well as training in the best practices in the field (Torres, 2003).
No longer is `aging gracefully' the acceptable mantra for individuals working with the aging population; positive or successful aging is the current focus (Torres, 2003). An aging adult can still volunteer, learn, share and be a part of the community even as they turn 70, 80 and 90 plus years old (Torres, 2003). They do not have to be brought out for company; rather they are hosting the company or event (Torres, 2003).
The move towards positive or successful aging has spurred research efforts towards developing activities aimed at maintaining the overall health of senior citizens, but this in fact is not a novel idea because even the ancients had known that ageing successfully was a means of keeping oneself in good spirits even in advanced years (Torres, 2003).
Statement of the problem
To live longer with the advancements of medicine sounds like a great opportunity for the human race (Duay, Deborah and Bryan, Valerie. 2006). Unfortunately it is not always the truth of the matter. An adult may live longer with a painful chronic disorder causing their quality of life to be less than it would have been if the advancements had not been found (Duay, Deborah and Bryan, Valerie. 2006). The environment of pain and chronic illness can certainly be devastating to the elderly population when coupled with the natural aging process of diminished sight, hearing and memory loss (Duay, Deborah and Bryan, Valerie. 2006). To compensate for this loss of freedom due to the chronic pain and natural aging process it is essential that the opportunities that are available to the senior population are able to understand not only the chronic illnesses but the effects of the natural aging process...