Sample Social Work Paper on Spirituality and the Elderly

Discuss the concepts of personhood, celebration, and communication, in relation to the elderly population.

If personhood is constructed and maintained in social environments, the elderly and people with dementia face potential risks following the increasing difficulties of engaging socially and effectively with society. The problem in communication and limited interaction gradually lead to withdrawal from social contact, which is characterized by people distancing themselves from the elderly resulting in isolation, which affects their conditions negatively. A remedy for this kind of negativity encompasses respect of the personhood of the older adult. The society must recognize the personhood of the elder generation of the society. The way of interacting with the elderly may assume the “I-It” approach that causes people to become cold, non-involved, and distant with the elderly, failing to acknowledge the individuality of the elderly besides treating them as objects. A different approach assumes the “I-You” dimension that helps people to interact constructively with society. Under this approach, the elderly and those with dementia feel more of people opposed to objectification in the previous method. This way, the links with the society and outside world are not threatened and damaged because they have lost the capacity to engage and interact with the community actively.

What is it about music that makes us feel ‘alive inside’?

Music plays a crucial role in helping us feel alive inside. It is so powerful that it creates a happy mood even when one is down or sickly. Distressing situations help us unveil the hidden power of music. Our customized music playlists are effective in activating emotional, psychological, and physical reserves that make us to be something greater than ourselves. The power in music rests in the neurological effects it impacts on our minds that transforms to a physiological effect on our bodies.

The contradiction in praising medical advances while shunning old age is tremendous. Why does the U.S. lock its elders away, treating them as pariahs, a facet of society to be forgotten?

Modern literacy and technology are placing the elderly at a disadvantage in the modernized generation. The contemporary society emphasizes independence, individualism,  and self reliance. Thois notion causes the older people to lose dignity and self worth. The American protestant work ethic has also contributed to making the lives of older Americans difficult as it stipulates that if you are no longer working, you lose the central value the society places in you. After retirement, mostly, people begin to lose their social relationships. The elderly are disadvantaged as they are pushed to loneliness in nursing homes, hospices, and care centers owing to the high mobility in the American society.

Can you find (and describe) a community that continues to honor & respect their elderly?

The Fijian community is an admirable example of a society that values and respects the elderly population. In the Fijian villages, older people are the responsibility of family and friends until their death. This treatment significantly contrasts the American way where the elderly are typically neglected at nursing homes. This American approach is not only cruel but also disrespectful and unfeeling.

Why is music therapy given such low priority in the care of dementia and other diseases?

The advances on modern medicine, technology, and sciences have shifted the focus of caregiving to dependence on biomedicine ignoring alternative intervention approaches for dementia and other diseases. Medical practitioners and caregivers may merely overlook the impacts and possible beneficial health outcomes music may present because it is not manufactured in the laboratories with approvals from high-top doctors. Doctors may also disregard the benefits of music in curing some disorder as a waste of time and with minimal overall health benefits.

Which character or scene from ALIVE INSIDE had the greatest impact on you?

The scene that fascinated me most from Alive Inside and that had the most significant impact on me is when the lady on the bed, one person that did not do much during her stay in hospital, started dancing to the music. This scene touched my heart

Complete and reflect on activities from Mathew 4.1 & 4.2

Mathew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2: And when he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

These scriptures closely relate to the situation of the elderly or persons with dementia. Often, the elderly might develop the hunger for constructive engagement with the world. Having been away from society, alone in the wilderness and without meaningful interaction, Jesus began to feel hungry. This hunger may not be the kind of desire the elderly endure but it reflects the discord and broken relationship with the outside world. Enclosure in nursing homes and with little interactions, the elderly are pushed to some sort of wilderness and hunger for constructive engagement with the society.