The Golden Years Are Not So Golden

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The Golden Years Are Not So Golden Essay, Research Paper “The Golden Years are not so Golden” The lifestyle that many of us sees when we get older and retire, may not be the actual way we will be living. For most persons retirement means freedom, a freedom from taking orders from bosses, from waking up early during the week, and from competition and criticism. Seniors are free, but free to do what? (Bradford 46) Senior citizens face many hardships once they reach retirement and head into the “golden years.” Senior life may not be all that it is made out to be. People are not living like they are young having the times of their lives. Most of them face problems socially, medically, and economically. To some seniors all this freedom may come as a shock. All of a sudden

there is time to do everything and anything they ever wanted. Some seniors can keep themselves socially active in the community, as long as transportation is available. But what happens if transportation is not there? As Jennifer Lenhart states, “the region’s outer suburbs it is not just school-aged children who are using local transportation, it’s grandma and grandpa, too.” For seniors having no means of transportation, weather it’s from being forced to sell there car, to having there license taken away, many problems arise. Lenhart reports, “Social Service agencies say they’re trying to help, but resources are already stretched thin, leaving little extra to pay for senior citizens and the transportation networks needed to help these older residents navigate there

outlying suburbs.” (Lenhart B01). Transportation isn’t the only social drawback when reaching one’s golden years. Another social barrier in retirement years is being in the presence of a disabled person, or someone who is confined to their house. According to Grace Weinstein, if a senior citizen is confined to a home or disabled, others, such as family members would be affected greatly by this (Weinstein 72). He also states, “Its comes as a great shock: how quickly a families resources, financial and emotional, melt away when an older person requires long-term care. Weinstein also points out that at 80% of the people needing long-term care receive it from family and friends, and help in paying for these services is virtually non-existent. Dr Roger Weise notes: “as the

advancing years take their tool on senior citizens physical, mental and emotional health, a role-reversal takes place as parents find themselves being cared for by the very children they brought into the world” (Krause 1). In the absence of other family members, the senior may choose, or be put automatically in a nursing home, or go though a concept called assisted living. There is, however, a substaintially large difference between the two. Nursing homes provide skilled and custodial care on short-term or long-term basis over the entire 24-hour day. Assisted living consists of group housing for older adults that is managed by professional and offers not only rooms but also safety, security and help with activities of daily living (Norrgrad 82). Assisted living residents

consist mainly of older people who need meals prepared and a safe place to live to people who need help with bathing and medications (Norrgrad 82). The elderly are not always put into these type of situation. But as with aging, there are concerns brought with a persons’ general health. Their health plays a major factor in living the golden years. One of the most common illnesses, when someone gets older and has nothing to do, is either getting a case of minor or major depression. According to Joseph Gallo, “Older adults often deny feeling sad while exhibiting other characteristics of depression. Other characteristics may include a lack of personal care.” (Gallo p820). Minor and major depression both has an effect on morality. Tests conducted with the American Medical