We are an aging society, as evidenced by the number of individuals from the baby boomer generation in the United States (born between 1946 and 1964) who have begun to turn 65. According to the United States Census Bureau (2013), there are more than 41 million Americans who are 65 and older. In Canada, the number of individuals over 65 years of age increased by over 14% between 2006 and 2011, and older adults now account for almost 15% of the entire population of that country (Statistics Canada, 2013). Across the world, populations are rapidly aging and there is a demand to understand the specific needs of this particular group. As with all clients, it is essential to address the concerns of the aging from a strengths and empowerment perspective. The aging are an identified vulnerable population and social workers should be mindful of the long-standing marginalization and oppression this population has experienced. Social workers should work hard to overcome the common prejudices and biases often expressed toward this group. Social workers should be careful to frame the lives and situations of the elderly from a perspective of strength, not deficit, avoiding the pitfall of focusing on loss.
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