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Social Equity And Human Rights For The Ageing Population

1806 words - 8 pages

In the year 2030 the importance of meaningful leisure pursuits remains an essential component of social equity and human rights for the ageing population. Fulfilling a broad role in a healthy life course, leisure becomes a replacement for working life, meeting the physical, psychological, and social needs of the retired. Despite this, many aged people face retirement socially isolated, void of self-discovery and development, and ageism has succeeded in removing the aged from leisure opportunities and experiences. In planning a short stay to the Melbourne Cup for aged clients, the role of leisure was carefully considered, with significant attention focused on the ethics of animals as leisure ...view middle of the document...

, 2003, p. 865; Mansvelt, 1997, pp. 292, 295). When leisure access is restricted, due to ageist attitudes of incapacity and inactivity (Wearing, 1995, p. 274; Dergance et al., 2003, pp. 863, 865), the result can be social isolation, loneliness, and poor physical and psychological health (Capalb, O’Halloran, & Liamputtong, 2014, p. 76; Edington, Deiser, Graaf, & Edington, 2006, p. 198).
With the average lifespan lengthening, the period after working life, or retirement, has taken on new meaning (Scherger et al., 2011, pp. 147, 149). Often regarded as a period of fragility, decline, poor health and withdrawal, theories of ageing have failed to encapsulate the diversity and opportunities afforded many of today’s ageing population (Scherger et al., 2011, p. 147). With increased wealth and better health, the aged have come to view older age as a period free from economic and time constraints, offering opportunities for self-development, new experiences (Scherger et al., 2011, p. 147), and learning (Liechty, Yarnal, & Kerstetter, 2012, p. 401). Leisure takes on added meaning as it fills important social roles no longer occupied by employment, and enhances a continuation of the life course (Scherger et al., 2011, p. 150). Contradictory to ageist attitudes, the aged actively seek out leisure roles to maintain identity and remain productive, and leisure is used as a means to remain socially, physically, and psychologically healthy (Wearing, 1995, pp. 268, 270, 273). The Melbourne Cup stay was seen as an opportunity to offer a meaningful leisure experience (Liechty et al., 2012, p. 404), combat ageist attitudes, and promote the productivity and abilities of the group (Cordes, & Ibrahim, 2003, pp. 106-109). By integrating the group with the community and each other, and offering opportunities for exercise, identity exploration and new experiences, the stay was used as a means to promote social, physical and psychological health (Lu, 2010, p. 139; Nummela, Sulander, Rahnkonen, & Uutela, 2008, p. 227). The physical benefits of the stay included improved heart and cardiovascular health, weight management (Mensink, Ziese, & Kok, 1999, pp. 662-663), cognitive protection (Lu, 2010, pp. 139, 140), mobility (Liechty et al., 2012, p. 400), chronic disease management, increased well-being (Lee, & Hung, 2011, p. 879), and it contributed to overall healthier longevity (Capalb et al., 2014, pp. 74, 76: Dergance et al., 2003, p. 863). Psychological benefits included improved psychological well-being, lower depression and anxiety (Edington et al., 2006, p. 199), and increased subjective well-being (Lu, 2010, pp. 139, 140). The stay promoted healthy ageing by offering leisure as personal growth, life satisfaction, improved self-perception, and protection of life course continuity and self-identity (Liechty et al., 2012, pp. 390, 402). Through being active and engaged the group gained a sense of youthfulness, independence, empowerment, confidence, and life meaning...

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