Statement of the Problem
Financial instability is a problem that plagues elderly Chinese and other immigrant citizens in the United States. If the seniors had jobs, they would be less dependent on handouts from organizations or relatives for survivals. The individuals would meet their basic needs, particularly healthcare costs easily with a steady income source. Moreover, the populous would have more social connections. Indeed, working with other people enhances communication and interaction with others, which many seniors need. Furthermore, if companies would hire seniors, they would be engaged in something, reducing their levels of boredom. Work occupies them as they put their hours in constructive work. Seniors also acquire new knowledge about the way to operate new technology and developments in their work areas. Multiple benefits would accrue to seniors should they be in stable employment.
In the U.S, many Chinese-American and immigrant seniors are unemployed. Consequently, they rely on the community and government agencies to offer them financial and social support. Organizations like the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) train and hire such individuals so that they have a source of livelihood. Without employment, these seniors risk losing their homes or experiencing deteriorating health because they have no income and could even be illiterate. The seniors are dependents on society. Accordingly, the researcher will carry out a literature analysis to unearth the prevalence of senior unemployment and the challenges it poses to the elderly and society. The findings will also be useful to guide future studies in the field of social work.
Review of Related Literature
Employment has numerous health implications for the elderly. Lee and Kondo (2018) link employment among seniors to health benefits that reduce healthcare costs. When they are unemployed, the aged could experience physical deterioration due to loneliness and an inability to afford healthcare. Elderly employment is imperative because it preserves a population’s memory. In fact, research suggests that education and working enhance the preservation of cognitive reserves (Yuan, Chen, & Chu, 2015). Combining education and work teaches seniors the way they can take advantage of the health benefits available to them. Indeed, employment has positive impacts on the health of seniors.
However, there is inconclusive research about employment and health benefits. Researchers find that unemployed seniors take better care of their health than employed ones (Lee & Kondo, 2018). They have more time to participate in healthy activities and seek healthcare services. Nevertheless, employment may not address the health issues plaguing the elderly. The researcher should consider other factors that influence the use of medical services such as independent health aspects. According to Yuan et al., scholars have limited findings on the relationship between elderly education and mental health (2018). Axelrad, Malul, and Luski (2018) state that studies have distorted information about unemployment among the elderly. Mainly, the elderly lack jobs due to their age and not because of economic cycles or health issues as popularly thought. Finally, inconclusive research on employment benefits among the elderly suggests that the perceived advantages may not be as prevalent as imagined.
The Background of the Problem in a Social Context
The elderly’s self esteem lowers when they lack jobs. Usually, seniors derive prestige from their work, and when they lose it, they feel hopeless. In particular, the situation is worse among elderly men compared to their female counterparts as the former may have suicidal tendencies (“Parliament of Australia,” p. 56). In turn, anti-social behaviors such as becoming alcoholics, which are as a result of self-esteem issues affect not only their partners but also other relatives. Some develop anger issues, making them unpleasant to be around. The contempt stems from reverse roles, whereby the individual is not the breadwinner but a dependent. Undoubtedly, unemployment affects the esteem of the aged, which impacts their families.
Equally, the elderly become a burden to their family and society members. Since they cannot cater for their expenses, they depend on handouts from their children and community (Yuan et al., 2015). Most of them are also lonely and seek the company of other people, who may not always be readily available. As their demanding nature increases, their need for constant monitoring and financial aid from other people grow. The elderly unemployed people rely on others for their wellbeing, which strains the givers’ resources.
The elderly also have weak social skills. Unemployment leaves seniors home alone for most of the time. Without the company of fellow workers, they cannot improve their social skills, which are vital in human interaction (“Parliament of Australia,” n.d. P. 57). Similarly, a lack of funds curtails their ability to participate in social festivities that would strengthen their presence in society. The poor social skills emanate from their isolation and lack of funds to engage in activities.
The Significance of Studying Elderly Unemployment
arching on unemployment in older adults is vital to understand the causes of unemployment in this group. Moreover, people will acknowledge the impact of unemployment on the elderly. Consequently, social works will craft the best strategies to assist this group. Researchers will find out whether there is any relationship between the wellbeing of the elderly and employment as well as the implications of such findings. Indeed, social workers can gain much insight from studying the levels of unemployment among the elderly.
“Parliament of Australia.” (2016). Consequences of Unemployment. Retrieved from https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=ewr/owk/report/chapter2.pdf
Axelard, H. Malul, M., & Luski, I. (2018). Unemployment among younger and older individuals: does conventional data about unemployment tell us the whole story?. Journal for Labor Market Research, 52 (1). Retrieved From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843690/
Lee, H.Y., Kondo, N., & Oh, J. (2018) Medical expenditure and unmet need of the pre-elderly and the elderly according to job status in Korea: Are the elderly indeed most vulnerable? PLoS ONE 13(3): e0193676. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193676
Yuan, M., Chen, W., Chu, C. I., & Fang, Y. (2015) Joint Effect of Education and Main Lifetime Occupation on Late-Life Health: A Cross-Sectional Study of Older Adults in Xiamen, China. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0131331. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0131331