Essay: Organizational Decision-Making

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Organizational Decision Making

Today, the issue of aging and eldercare services is at the forefront of social, political, and financial concerns. Indeed, the development of medical services and a better understanding of longevity and health have combined to create a situation in which the older adult population is rapidly increasing. This is creating a rapidly increasing effect upon the ability of the country to provide its older adults with the services and care they require. Americans who are 65 years and older, for example, currently constitute about 13% of the total population in the country, while accounting for 30% of federal health care costs. These numbers are expected to increase almost exponentially over the next decades, and have already created a situation in which, often, more than one generation are making use of care services at the same time. For companies that specialize in elder care, it is therefore vital to research this sector of the population, its current situation, and future needs in order to ensure the long-term effectiveness and sufficiency of health care for the elderly. Indeed, testing design and implementation have become vital for organizational decision making in this area if the future is to create a situation for older adults in which they can be assured of sufficient and effective services while aging with dignity.

One of the areas in which research is vital is both the physical and mental health of older adults and how these affect each other. Old age often means physical decline and chronic disease. Experiencing this breakdown of the body can have very detrimental effects on the mental health of the individual. Becoming ill on a chronic basis, for example, tends to be very stressful and the individual experiences a basic loss of control, which will also affect the mental health of the individual. Physical illness can also be a leading cause of depression among older adults. The mutual effect of physical and mental illness on each other should therefore be tested in order to discover ways in which both can be managed in such a way to ensure effective living for the older individual, even if physical illness is unavoidable.

One of the ways in which this can be achieved is by means of social support. Social support curbs the sense of isolation that often comes with aging. It is also one of the most powerful tools to battle stress and depression. Social support can promote both physical health and psychological well-being. It is important to test various ways in which this can be achieved. Low-impact exercise programs are one of the ways in which both social support and physical well-being can be promoted. Older adults taking part in such programs, for example, will meet others in their peer group, make friends, and find new ways in which to give their lives meaning. Implementation can occur by means of approaching care homes for the elderly and advertising in community newspapers. Services can either be offered at institutions for the elderly or community centers.

Another important factor in researching and understanding the challenges that come with aging is the cultural factor. Cultural sensitivity is highly important in implementing elder care services. Ethnic minority older people, for example, may traditionally be leery of formal agency services, as their cultural traditions dictate that aging parents should be provided for by children or other family members. This factor should be taken into account when designing ways in which to provide care services to these groups.

In response to aging and age-related issues, legislation has been implemented to ensure the fair and legal offering of services to older Americans. According to Niles-Yokum and Wagner (2011, p. 15), the Older Americans Act provide for several areas of care, as well as research and development in the provision of these services to older people. Title IV of the Act, for example, provides funding mechanisms to support research for more effective research and implementation when it comes to services to older Americans.

New approaches not only to service delivery, but also to training, is fundamental to these efforts. Training has been revealed to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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