Teaching the Culture of Aging This paper asks us to consider aging or the concept of successful aging as a cultural variable. Geriatric health care practitioners may be more willing to work with, and suffer less burnout when working with, the aging population if they can embrace the cultural changes in aging. Speech-language pathologists must ... Article
Article  |   September 01, 2014
Teaching the Culture of Aging
Author Notes
  • Disclosure: Financial: Cathy Carney-Thomas has no financial interests to disclose
    Disclosure: Financial: Cathy Carney-Thomas has no financial interests to disclose×
  • Nonfinancial: Cathy Carney-Thomas has no nonfinancial interests to disclose
    Nonfinancial: Cathy Carney-Thomas has no nonfinancial interests to disclose×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Articles
Article   |   September 01, 2014
Teaching the Culture of Aging
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, September 2014, Vol. 19, 81-86. doi:10.1044/gero19.3.81
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, September 2014, Vol. 19, 81-86. doi:10.1044/gero19.3.81

This paper asks us to consider aging or the concept of successful aging as a cultural variable. Geriatric health care practitioners may be more willing to work with, and suffer less burnout when working with, the aging population if they can embrace the cultural changes in aging. Speech-language pathologists must become culturally competent on many levels, including understanding aging as it relates to personhood and the delivery of health care. A review of several definitions of cultural aging and how this aging affects the systems in eldercare and health care delivery are discussed. Results show it is common for the elderly to share self-perceptions during a serious illness or in a health care exchange that reflect society perceptions of them as “Old people.” Results also show that those working with the elderly in a culture of ageist stereotypes quickly burn out. It is suggested that incorporating aging as a cultural phenomenon in education and supervisory relationships will improve the quality of care received by the elderly and could increase job satisfaction of those working with the elderly.

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