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This is a selection made from among articles on Department Of Health Senior Services. For a permanent link to this article, or to bookmark it for future reading, click here.

Senior Social Services In All Areas Of Life


As the baby boomer population begins to prepare to go into early retirement by 2008, the need for senior social services will continue to increase. This demographic has transformed and molded the American culture and now it is soon to take its earnings into retirement. It will be interesting to see the way the baby boomers remake the notion of retirement and how they influence the providing of senior social services. The elderly require an enormous amount of senior social services and currently they are pretty standard. They include:

* Transportation Services
* Health Services
* Community Services
* Spiritual/Ethnic Services

Transportation Services

Transportation services will depend on the mobility of the seniors and what senior social services the city provides. Sometimes there are senior shuttles available and sometimes not. Within a city with a good network of buses and trains, seniors have a greater degree of low-income transportation choices. Local centers for the aged would be a good place to determine what senior social services are available in a community. Some cities are more senior-friendly than others and this should be researched if you are planning on retiring soon.

Health Services

Health services make up the biggest chunk of senior social services provided by the state and federal government. Medicare and Medicaid are two such programs. In addition, each city has its own home health aide, nursing, or assisted living programs available. Mental and health professionals may be needed to deal with issues like chronic illness or mental deterioration.

Community Services

Community services can range from universities that offer classes and workshops to seniors to private groups for dancing and social events. Todayís seniors are very active and many of them are involved in their communities doing volunteer work or mentoring.
Travel clubs specifically for seniors are also a vital part of community services.

Spiritual/Ethnic Services

Many seniors have specific spiritual needs depending on what faith they have embraced in their lifetime. The culture in which they grew up may also influence whether they are receptive to social services. Some may not want as much medical intervention as others, and some may want different religious rites while they are within a community. If they are alone, they may have difficulty communicating those issues without a translator or someone knowledgeable of their own culture. Thatís when social workers need to be particularly sensitive to the needs of that individual.

How will the baby boomer generation influence these services? Thatís the big question and one that is sure to have ripple effects in the entire structure of senior social services.

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