This chapter highlights some of the current health programs and policies in place and changes in demographic trends for older adults living within American society. In addition, substantial changes within the social, political, and cultural expectations of communities over the past century pose challenges for policies and programs serving older adults. The chapter presents several issues emerge as realities within the context of policy development and program planning for older adults. These issues include changes in living arrangements, education levels, economic well-being, and rural population settings; trends in morbidity and mortality; and changes within the social, political, and cultural expectations of communities. Despite the availability of programs and services resulting from health policies, many programs have focused upon “medically necessary” services and have lacked a health promotion, health education, or community-based focus.
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- Go to chapter: Background and Demographic Profile of People Growing Older and/or People With Disabilities
This chapter presents a brief overview of some legislative efforts within the mental health (MH) arena and examined their limitations and application with respect to older adults and people living with mental illness. The chapter also takes us through a journey to examine the current status of MH and older adults, with a particular emphasis on depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. It discusses and reviews the programs, services and issues still outstanding within the MH arena. The chapter helps the reader to understand specific components of the Community Mental Health Act and other MH-related legislation. Many of the community day hospital programs and community MH programs administered through the Community Mental Health Act are based on the deinstitutionalization paradigm since the goal is to treat people outside the institution and within community settings. It concludes with laying out some challenges for the future in the area of MH and older adults.
This chapter discusses Older Americans Act (OAA). In the original act, the principles are defined through six specific titles. Title one: outlines the objectives and defines the administrative oversight for the OAA. It provides definitions for the administrative structure to carry out the OAA. This organization includes the secretary, commissioner, and the role that individual states will take on in the administration of the act. Title two: administration on aging establishes the infrastructure for the administration of aging services and outlines the main activities of this administrative structure. Title three outlines the authorization process of appropriations for the purpose of community planning, services, and training. Title four is about research and development projects. Title five: training projects outlines the provision of funds for training projects to benefit individual states. Title six outlines the advisory committees that govern the administration of the OAA.
This chapter deals with one subset of these strategies, namely using media as a part of the advocacy process. The chapter reviews a number of specific media advocacy strategies and provides some innovative approaches to sending a message relevant to program or policy development. Media advocacy is the strategic use of any form of media to help advance an organization’s objectives or goals. Media advocacy explores a number of key issues and serves to present strategies that can be helpful in the development of innovative human service opportunities and educate the general public. These strategies can be used as stand-alone methods or in combination with each other. These strategies build on understanding one’s health and help-seeking behavior and enable advocates to influence a wide number and array of people with limited resources and energy.
This chapter helps the reader to be familiar with the role coalitions play in advocacy and policy development and to understand the various types of coalitions that affect the policy landscape. It also helps the reader to be familiar with the various roles that exist within groups and coalitions that contribute to the success or non-success of the group process. A number of strategies can be used to develop initiatives to impact one’s advocacy efforts. These strategies can be used to promote the development of new programs and services and can include the use of and/or development of coalitions, the media and media advocacy, and consumer advocates. The chapter addresses each of these strategies in greater depth. It outlines a variety of issues related to coalitions, group development, and coalition building for aging policies and programs.
This chapter helps the reader to understand the history of the Elder Justice Act (EJA). It provides specific components of the EJA and how programs and services flow for older adults and people with disabilities. The chapter discusses the limitations in programs and services within the EJA. The EJA requires the oversight and the appropriation of federal funding to protect people growing older and people with disabilities from abuse. It addresses legal issues with a special emphasis on the concept of a power of attorney. The chapter explores several legal issues that face older adults. It also address elder abuse, power of attorney, and a differentiation made between the types of power of attorney and the healthcare power of attorney. In addition, the chapter explores legal services provided to older adults as a result of the Older Americans Act, and outlines the challenges within the realm of legal issues.