A Description of the Story
Older adults are portrayed as backward individuals resistant to change and other developments in the modern world. On many occasions, individuals are exposed to an environment where they evaluate different aspects of existence and affect their perspectives towards life. In this regard, ageism in news media has become a topical issue that portrays the elderly population negatively. While this continues to recur in the modern world, individuals have a limited span that hinders them from understanding the actual needs of the affected population group. In a recent article published by the BBC, older people were lonely because they could not access certain services from their local providers (BBC News, 2021). Even though a charity organization had stepped in to intervene, the article indicated that older adults were lonely because they were unwilling to embrace technology, a move that contributed to their loneliness.
Loneliness is often associated with extreme feelings of guilt, losing a loved one, and other life forms. However, many people have a limited understanding of the different forms of loneliness and the different impact on people’s lives. Existential loneliness occurs when individuals are disconnected from their immediate surroundings because of their different perspectives towards life. It usually occurs when individuals are exposed to scenarios with limited knowledge about various events in the outside world. In the same vein, existential loneliness is also manifested during moments of sickness where a person’s resilience is subjected to test. From this observation, individuals are expected to understand a person’s mindset before commenting about their loneliness because of the resulting impact on their views towards life.
Aging exposes individuals to different outcomes that influence their perspectives towards life and other aspects of society. For instance, the aging process exposes one to moments of happiness when they witness the growth of their offspring. In the same vein, aging introduces individuals to sad moments when they bear the loss of their loved ones. During this period of great uncertainty, it is easier for people to lose touch with their immediate environment (Sundström, 2018). Existential loneliness comes in when older people are disconnected from their world. Health practitioners recommend individuals to evaluate other aspects contributing to the lonely status of the elderly population group before offering help that might disrupt their views on life and other elements of society.
On many occasions, individuals reflect on the role of older adults in their lives whenever they seek advice and guidance on the best approach to use when solving problems. I believe older people are important in our society because of their ability to offer their wisdom and guidance on various topical issues affecting individuals in their surroundings. According to the functionalism theory, older adults are portrayed as an important element in the different aspects of society (Swift & Chasteen, 2021). Functionalists believe that people with immense resources enjoy their old age because of their ability to afford convenience and demonstrate positive examples that people can emulate to succeed in their endeavors. However, ageism is a persistent problem that discriminates against the elderly by portraying them negatively in the media and other avenues. Despite the persistence of ageism in Canada and other parts of the world, individuals are focused on creating viable solutions that influence outcomes in their contemporary society.
BBC News. (2021, June 25th). Digital divide: older people in the West left ‘lonely.’ BBC News, Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-57598341
Sundström, M., Edberg, A., Rämgård, M., & Blomqvist, K. (2018). Encountering existential loneliness among older people: Perspectives of health care professionals. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 13(1), 1-12. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2018.1474673
Swift, H. J., & Chasteen, A. L. (2021). Ageism in the time of COVID-19. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 24(2), 246-252.
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