Productive Aging and Social Development
The aging of the worldwide population brings demographic, economic, and socio-cultural implications. Over the next several decades, the population will be increasingly comprised of older adults. Although they have benefited from various policies and programs, older adults and their caregivers are at risk of increased isolation, dependency, and decreased economic, physical, and mental well-being. Traditional social work approaches in the field of aging have consisted largely of disparate interventions that address individual needs without considering the larger social, physical, or economic context of an aging society. Meanwhile, recent theoretical contributions to the concept of productive aging have recognized that productivity may not only be defined as the economic value of an individual’s actions, but may also be measured in terms of social or civic contributions. Older adults have the capacity to help build a community’s social and economic capital through various means.
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