chapter  Chapter 11
43 Pages

Policies and Programs for Older Adults

ByRosemary Kennedy Chapin, Melinda Lewis

Policies and Programs for Older Adults, provides an overview of key policy issues that influence older adults. This chapter was revised from the previous edition to reduce redundancy with other parts of the text, while still acknowledging that policies in other domains affect older adults’ outcomes. This edition expanded discussion of retirement security and how the risks associated with retirement have largely shifted to individuals. The chapter also includes content on elder abuse and legislative efforts to respond to this problem, the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, long-term care and the imperative for new social policy structures to provide assistance with this need. We analyze voting patterns of older adults and the ways in which generational shifts are reshaping political realities. Students are helped to critically assess the concept of aging well, the policies required to facilitate this outcome, and how different populations may experience the redefinition of later life. We conclude this chapter by examining policy strategies to promote economic security, adequate health care, and social engagement, as well as ways to support intergenerational cooperation. The intent of this chapter is to engage students of all ages in thinking about what they want for themselves as they age, what policies would best support older adults, and how policy practice related to aging can be part of their own social work in any field.