JFS Perspectives

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Seniors Matter: Addressing the Issue of Invisibility Among Older Adults

Age should not define a person or diminish respect from others. There is a generation of people overlooked every day and little attention is paid to this growing problem.

As people age, they may become less visible within their communities. It can seem like people who once smiled as they walked by begin passing without a glance. Seniors may feel like unwanted outsiders in society. Sadly, many participate in their own “invisibility” by withdrawing into isolation.

People who do not feel connected are at increased risk of depression, dementia, and poor self-esteem. According to the American Psychological Association, self-perception is related to physical and mental health and overall life satisfaction.

In a society that idolizes youth and youth culture, it can be difficult to understand and address the challenges older adults face. When we are young, imagining what our life might look like when we are older is practically incomprehensible. As a result, the needs of older adults are not well understood by younger populations. The experience of feeling invisible can be shocking and painful, but having support can help to positively navigate this time in a person’s life.

At JFS, the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. We strive to create meaningful changes in the lives of older adults by involving and empowering them in all aspects of their lives.

The JFS Senior Solutions department takes a holistic approach and provides services to help older adults stay supported, connected, and engaged. JFS care managers and interns help to meet the needs of older adults by offering supportive services. Friendly visits between the seniors and care managers offer stimulation and social contact, which can create a sense of connectedness. Older adults have a lifetime of experiences to share and by compassionately listening, JFS staff help them to feel heard.

JFS care managers and interns can ease anxieties that may come with aging. Many older adults are concerned about who will care for them as they age. Care managers help older adults create a plan that allows them to stay in their homes and communities while ensuring that their basic needs are met. Care managers and clients work together to identify strengths and increase knowledge and problem-solving skills that can be used to help older adults remain engaged in society.

Sarah LukosiBy Sarah Lukosi, Senior Solutions Intern

Sarah Lukosi is a care manager intern in the Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center at JFS. She is pursuing a Master of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver and will graduate in May 2019. Sarah looks forward to pursuing her passion of working with older adults and helping them thrive in their homes and communities. She grew up in Wheat Ridge and served in the U.S. Air Force in the Middle East.