Growing numbers of older adults (age 65 and older) worldwide are living while enduring a variety of physical and cognitive impairments. These individuals have the potential to reshape how society views and understands the concept of disability and aging.
In our common language and culture, we are surrounded with the terms old ageand disability. Yet these terms, and the social identities they signify, tend to remain separated based on age cohorts and society’s perception. We tend to reserve the term disabled for young and middle-aged people and instead use sickor ill when we talk about older adults. Getting used to society’s perception, that is how older adults view themselves; and rarely do they accept the identity and social portrayal of persons living with a disability.
The concepts of disability and old age retain core elements that are based on their similar history of struggle, dependency and needs that distinguishes the plight of each group members and makes them attractive recipients of assistance. However, this support diminishes when the rights and privileges that are granted to a person who is blind or a person who requires to use a wheelchair or an individual with profound mental challenges — are extended to the flexible lists of disabling conditions that are recognized under law.
1. Please answer the following questions:
a) Should the ADA become “age-based” to benefit only specific groups within a certain age? What are the pros and cons if this regulation was implemented?
b) Based on your observations – Does the ADA protect the rights of older adults without disabilities? Please explain.
c) Is it for their best interest that older adults see themselves how society perceives them as sick or ill because they are “old” and not disabled? Please explain.
d) Should policy makers identify both groups (disabled and aging) under the same social protection civil rights laws and policies for budgetary benefits and social inclusion privileges? Please explain.