A strength-based approach rather than a deficit-based approach towards ageing could well have an empowered senior citizen stepping into a journey of a “well-being” experience.
Strength is a capacity – a talent, ability, skills or multiple intelligences; whereas the deficits are the physical hurdles of old age that bring about various disabilities.
Kalpana Goel from School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, Whyalla Campus, Australia, who was in the city for the ‘Healthy Ageing’ conference organised by the Rajagiri School of Social Sciences, said that “well-being” is not just a physical experience, but a “happy” state of mind and body.
The idea was explored by Vanessa Leane of St. John Ambulance Australia and Dr. Goel in a project that focussed on the strength-based approach to the older people.
“The idea was to generate the identity of the senior citizen in his or her strengths… to explore their strengths that they had accumulated by virtue of their lives,” said Dr. Goel. If their strengths are used as a resource to generate well-being, it removes the barriers created by the frailty of old age, environment and other constraints like lack of support or care. Their strengths, which make them happy, get buried because of loss of hearing, loss of spouse or loss of a close friend. The new digital world could be used to help them bring back their strengths, she said.
The governments should work out community programmes to explore the strength-based approach to well-being that would help the elderly give back to society the goodness they had accumulated.
Society should recognise the value of the strengths of the elderly, instead of focussing more on the physical needs of the ageing body, said Dr. Goel.
Society should recognise the value of the strengths of the elderly
Also, society should recognise the value of the strengths of the elderly, says Kalpana Goel from Whyalla Campus.
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