SRV in the News
This is the first of what I hope will be a regular column dedicated to “SRV in the News”. At SRV workshops we often give examples from the media; some of these are current, while others are taken from the news media of the past 20 years or so. As is pointed out in the workshop even a casual inspection of the news media will bring to bear many examples of devaluation, wounding and the ten themes themselves. In this column I will provide a brief description of several articles along with the relevant SRV points. I welcome discussion, analysis and critique in the comments section.
This week I will focus on several articles from Canadian newspapers detailing the devaluation of the elderly:
Stealing from the Seniors (The Calgary Herald): This column outlines the phenomenon of what the author refers to as “elder financial abuse”. According to the author the most common perpetrators of fraud against the elderly is their family members. Apparently one of the reasons for carrying out this kind of abuse is the belief that the elderly “do not need money or have a future”. As spoken about in the introductory SRV workshop, one of the characteristics of devaluation is that as one group becomes more valued in society, others will take their place as the primary devalued groups. One might argue that as disabled people have been given at least somewhat more access to valued roles in our society, the elderly have found themselves occupying more devalued roles. As this article illustrates, it could be argued that the elderly are now one of the most devalued groups in contemporary western culture.
Drugs put seniors at risk (The Toronto Star): In Canada at least, one manifestation of the devaluation of the elderly is an over-prescription of pharmaceuticals, which results in further wounding through harmful side effects. The concept of being placed at further risk by an already devalued status is referred to in SRV literature as “heightened vulnerability”. In this case, societal devaluation of the elderly places them at a higher risk of being placed on mind-altering pharmaceuticals and thus experience further wounding because of this. While a valued person may be able to cope with the complexities of being placed on a large number of pharmaceuticals, devalued persons, who are often bereft of valued social roles and contacts in society, may find it difficult or even impossible to co-ordinate the taking of many different medications.Tweet
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: elders, heightened vulnerability, news media, seniors, Social Role Valorization, SRV