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Generations A Hidden Source of Diversity Kenneth J. Doka, PhD Professor of Gerontology, The College of New Rochelle Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "Generations A Hidden Source of Diversity Kenneth J. Doka, PhD Professor of Gerontology, The College of New Rochelle Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Generations A Hidden Source of Diversity Kenneth J. Doka, PhD Professor of Gerontology, The College of New Rochelle Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation of America

2 Objectives 1. Describe the characteristics of varied generations Formative Experiences Core Values 2. Explore the implications of generational differences Medical Care and End-of-Life Counseling Issues and Concerns Workplace Differences

3 Click icon to add clip art Caution! Generational differences are only one source of diversity Others include: Ethnicity and Culture Gender Social Class Spirituality/Humanism Geographical

4 Click icon to add clip art The Nature of Diversity Remember Sue & Sues Asian Proverb – Every person is Like no other person Like some other persons Like all other persons

5 The Value of Cohort Analysis Understanding Generations

6 Click icon to add clip art Generations Each generation is unique – shaped by social, historical and demographic (size, composition) forces (Strauss and Howe)

7 Implication Systems of care need to be reassessed and reinvented as each new cohort ages Note such reimagining involves intergenerational considerations – i.e. Baby Boomers managing care of GI Generation Parents

8 Click icon to add clip art Generations Generations are both interactive and reactive Each generation not only interacts with others (despite the fact that industrial societies are more age-segmented) but reacts the experiences shaped by preceding generations

9 Cohort analysis begins with the size and composition (gender, ethnicity etc.) of a generation

10 It is more than sheer size Each generation is shaped by context – the historical and social experiences

11 Click icon to add clip art The GI Generation (Born 1901 – 1924) Childhood – a time of prosperity Decline in child labor Increase in education Development of mass adolescent organizations (Boy and Girl Scouts)

12 Click icon to add clip art GI Generation Formative Experiences Experienced Depression and World War II GI Bill – Housing and Education Expected and Valued Government Role

13 Click icon to add clip art GI Generation Formative Experiences First Aging Generation First generation to benefit from Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Aging Network

14 GI Generation Values Respect Authority (and seek respect) Follow Orders, Regular Guy, Team Player Altruistic Can Do Rigid Sex Role Definitions

15 The Silent Generation (Born ) Formative Experiences Sandwiched between GI Generation and Boom – a Transitional Generation Many fought in career, those on the cusp may have served in Vietnam First American Generation the declined in numbers Generally Experienced Prosperity and Security Divorce still rare in their childhood Civil Rights Generation

16 The Silent Generation Values Fitting in – The Organization Man Emerging Concern with Inner Self Transitional – Cultural and Gender Roles

17 Click icon to add clip art The Traditional Generations Often the GI Generation and the Silent Generation are now grouped together as they now share common experiences of later life, GI Generation rapidly dying off, and many formative experiences were not radically different – intact homes, utilized savings accounts, etc.

18 Click icon to add clip art The Traditionalists Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life As a group, often accept the fact that life is unfair – hence accepting of fate Grow up at a time when medical treatments were limited – children died from polio, whooping cough, heart attacks were fatal – hence some may be fatalistic and view medications and hospitals with suspicion Yet generally adherent – will seek doctors advice for anything health related; rarely will question physicians

19 Click icon to add clip art The Traditionalists Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life African-Americans in these generations experienced harsh discrimination and prejudice – themes that may emerge in life review Because of the Tuskegee experiments may be distrustful of medical professionals That distrust as well as spiritual values may leads to a reluctance to consider palliative care Many persons may have a pride of survivorship

20 Click icon to add clip art Langston Hughes Mother to Son Well son, Ill tell you Life for me aint been no crystal stair. Its had tacks in it, and splinters, And boards torn up And places with no carpet on the floor Bare. But all the time Ise been a-climbin on, And reachin landins And sometimes goin in the dark Where there aint been no light. So boy, dont you turn back. Dont you set down on the steps Cause you find it kinda hard. Don't you fall now – For Ise still goin, honey, Ise still climbin And life for me aint been no crystal stair

21 Click icon to add clip art The Traditionalists Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life Often end-of-life preparation meant wills and other estate planning Now accepting need for healthcare proxies and advance directives – yet ethnic differences exist With increasing dependence they may have conflicts with baby boom caregivers on downsizing as they eschew the wastefulness as their boomer children attempt to toss out clutter May seriously struggle with difficult decisions regarding savings and assets v. eligibility for governmental programs

22 Click icon to add clip art The Traditionalists Implications for Counselors Tend to be quiet about emotions and feelings Generally resistant to therapy as defined as for persons who were crazy Even resistant to EAPs since they first experienced such programs as dealing with occupational alcoholism Though first generation to embrace widow/widower and other grief support groups

23 Click icon to add clip art The Traditionalists Implications for Counselors Often rising rates of alcoholism – these generations tended to exhibit more drinking and alcohol use may increase with retirement Yet a rising rate of suicide as this group ages – probably a result of untreated depression, alcoholism, status changes, and cascading issues arising from aging and loss

24 Click icon to add clip art The Traditionalists Workplace Implications Value honesty, loyalty, and hard work – one thing at a time Detail oriented Communication more formal Works well with hierarchy and rules – has a sense of organizational history Historically the last generation where males primarily worked and women stayed home or had part- time or traditionally female careers Likely in the leadership of the organization

25 Click icon to add clip art The Traditionalists Attitudes toward Recreation and Leisure Often a challenge to redefine themselves distinct from occupational roles A paradoxical perspective Recreational and leisure a reward for productivity Yet a reversion to unproductive periods of life albeit deserved In recreational therapy there is value of explaining rationale behind activity Younger traditionalists may see leisure more productively – elderhostel, grand travel etc.

26 Click icon to add clip art The Baby Boom (Born ) Formative Experiences Sheer Size – Now 73 Million Shaped by Watergate, Vietnam A Generation of Worsening Trends (Divorce, Delinquency, etc.)

27 Click icon to add clip art The Baby Boom and Diversity The Baby Boom is a diverse generation both ethnically and spiritually Ethnic diversity and the 1965 Immigration Act Spiritual Diversity – the growth of non- Western Religions

28 Click icon to add clip art The Baby Boom and Diversity The Baby Boom generation experienced the sexual revolution and was active in gay rights movements This was the first generation to experience gay marriage and same sex partnerships

29 Click icon to add clip art Boomers Have Changed Every Institution They Have Encountered Schools and Colleges The Military Music and Media Politics The Workplace Society

30 Click icon to add clip art Boomer Legacy Agitated for Civil and Individual Rights Including strong inter- gender support for Womens Rights Created a strong and sustained Environmental Movement Aging Rights -- The next crusade?

31 Click icon to add clip art Boomer Values Individualistic Eclectic Spirituality Resource Aware Choice, Creativity and Control Distrustful of Authority – including government Trust persons not positions Sense of Entitlement Aging Adverse Strong Emphasis on Health and Wellness

32 Click icon to add clip art Boomer Sense of Justice Boomers have a finely tuned sense of injustice that can alienate them from businesses that they perceive as greedy or unfair Example – Stewart Shops and the pricing of The NY Times

33 Baby Boomers A 2009 study by Martin, Freedman, Schoeni, and Andreski about Boomers approaching 60 did not find major improvements in health over the past generation despite public health successes and generational emphases This may reflect greater improvements in diagnosis, subjective expectations of Boomers on how they doing, and other factors such as obesity The authors note that final conclusions could not be made but it is perplexing boomers are not doing better.

34 Click icon to add clip art Aging Boomers On Jan. 1, 2011, the first Boomers turned 65 years old Everyday thereafter 10,000 more will cross that threshold By 2030 when all Boomers are over 65, 18% of the US population will be 65 or older.

35 Click icon to add clip art Aging Boomers Boomers generally consider old age begins at 72 Most feel near a decade younger than their actual age Implications for marketing and programming

36 Click icon to add clip art Baby Boom Generation Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life Boomers will expect to be actively involved in determining their medical care Boomers are heavy consumers of alternative medicines including chiropractors, acupuncture, herbal and natural treatments, vitamins

37 Click icon to add clip art Boomer Drug Use Boomers had a high rate of experimentation with recreational drugs A certain percentage have continued drug use as they age Health consequences of life-long use are still unclear, and likely vary dependent on the drug of choice Policy issues?

38 Click icon to add clip art Baby Boom Generation Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life Boomers value death with dignity, as well as effective pain management – they were in the forefront of the hospice movement so that portends well for hospice use On the other hand, control and options might make hospice more attractive if it offers concurrent care Katz and Wright (2011) recount a case where a woman opted out of hospice since it did not offer life- extending treatment nor nutritional support – patient wanted to survive till daughters wedding

39 Click icon to add clip art Baby Boom Generation Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life Boomer focus of control may lead to some interesting ethical dilemmas Some boomers have stated in advance directives that if they do not know enough to eat – do not feed them!

40 Click icon to add clip art Baby Boomers Implications for Counselors As a generation, grew up with guidance counselors so not adverse to therapy (mediated by other variables) Embraced self-help movements – especially as self-help turned from prohibitory to enhancing

41 Click icon to add clip art Baby Boomers Institutional Care Boomers value privacy, dignity, and autonomy Private rooms will be in demand Cost analysis indicates that such use of space is viable even at Medicare rates in about 7.5 years (Calkins & Cassella, 2007) In addition, remember the opportunity costs – double rooms are more likely to stay empty

42 Click icon to add clip art Boomers will demand Individuality (Matching Environments) Freedom to choose Continuity in life styles Personal belongings Privacy – including private rooms Contact with grandchildren (children- friendly facilities) Internet and technology Safety

43 Click icon to add clip art Boomer Concerns for Parents Reshaped Adult Care Market Emphasizing continuum of care Assisted Living Amenities for well older persons such as spas and gyms

44 Click icon to add clip art Baby Boomers Implications for Funeral Service Boomers will demand greater options – choice including products, services Boomers will wish options for creative rituals Internet savvy – video streaming, Internet Memorials and Sign ins Diversity – language cards etc.

45 Click icon to add clip art The Baby Boom Recreation and Leisure The generation that refused to grow! Boomers value recreation, activity, and leisure See it as essential to good physical and mental health Embrace the premises of recreational and activity therapy (relation of leisure to life satisfaction) Caveat – Sensitive to activities considered demeaning or attitudes perceived as disrespectful

46 Click icon to add clip art The Baby Boom Recreation and Leisure First generation with widespread technological literacy (first generation to fully experience computers as routine in the workplace – yet still digital immigrants Gender roles not as rigid Boomers have a strong outdoor emphasis Aquatic programs are valued – especially for fitness (rather than play)

47 Click icon to add clip art Baby Boomers Workplace Implications The retirement of the Baby Boom Generation will create job shortages in many fields as 73 million boomers will need to be replaced by 49 million in the next generation Skewing the dependency ratio

48 Click icon to add clip art Aging Boomers Retirement and Work 70% of Boomers say they plan to work beyond retirement age. While there are financial reasons for this, Boomers also cite the need for mental and social stimulation, and physical activity Many Boomers, especially professionals define themselves by their careers Yet about half do retire at 65 – for reasons of health, age discrimination or a declining economy

49 Click icon to add clip art Generation X (1961 – 1981) Formative Experiences Strauss & Howe call them The Thirteenth Generation Raised in a time of terrorism, environmental disasters, disease (AIDS) See Boomers childhood as carefree – more aware of consequences Boomer parents – friendship valued, high divorce rate Higher percentage of latch key children Economically a depression of the young as houses seem hard to afford, etc.

50 Click icon to add clip art Generation X Values Technologically advanced and aware Independence and self-reliant Entrepreneurs Savvy consumers and distrustful of work organizations commitment Non-ideological Music and dress as a divider Decline in college graduation (especially for males) compared to Boomers Reactive – trying still to see what they believe and where they fit in

51 Click icon to add clip art Generation X Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life With the oldest members approaching 50, just beginning to struggle with an awareness of mortality Value speed, efficiency and a consultative style in medical providers More open to non-traditional forms of care Often seek information from the Internet including costs Beginning to be parental caregivers More critical of medical care than Baby Boomers or Generation Y – perhaps reflecting they are relatively new to negotiating the system

52 Click icon to add clip art Generation X Implications for Counseling Open to counseling, responsive to coaching, they embrace an expansive and enhancing view of counseling Often both genders have tried to cultivate support systems based on friendship bonds urban tribes Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders are the major psychological issues that this generation experiences Substance abuse (outside of smoking) is not major – entered the workforce when drug-testing is common

53 Click icon to add clip art Generation X Implications for the Workplace Entrepreneurship valued as is a more equalitarian and horizontal work environment Prefer flexible options – including flextime, working remotely as an option Expect voice to be heard, opinions solicited, and disputes conciliated Want to balance life and work

54 Click icon to add clip art Generation X Implications for Health Care Seeking a sense of balance has created generational shifts in medicine Generation MDs are more likely to be female, technologically savvy, want stability, and balance I am not bothered by older doctors saying we worked harder. Instead I pity them for justifying their misery.

55 Click icon to add clip art Generation X Recreation and Leisure Emphasis on balance offers opening to leisure Often leisure is focused on self-development, inner growth, nurturing relationships, and keeping fit Because of economic challenges, cost is a factor in the activities chosen

56 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y The Millennial Generation ( ) Formative Experiences Born in a time where there is a deep interest in youth – education, health, etc. Late Boomer parents seeking not to repeat mistakes – civic virtues emphasized Tolerant generation (Diversity emphasized) Technologically advanced Pragmatic and non-ideological Most medicatedgeneration – now relatively high rates of underage alcohol, illegal drug use and trading of prescription medications

57 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y Formative Experiences The first internet generation Digital natives – rather than digital immigrants Accentuated differences between the know and know nots Strong technological connections to parents – texting etc. Emerging adulthood – a lengthened period of dependency The virtual community – where things are not always what they seem!

58 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y A wanted generation as abortion is legal and parenthood valued as a choice A nurtured generation – social promotion, self- esteem valued, trophies for participation Scholars feel that their high and perhaps unrealistic expectations may be dashed as they enter a highly competitive world in adulthood

59 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y Values Accept diversity including more accepting of LBGT Self expression valued more than self control Adapt easily to change and technology Respect must be earned – not based on age, authority, or title

60 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y Implications for Medical Care and End-of-Life Little experience for most with anything but routine medical care Most have yet top experience serious illness or the deaths of parents Any experiences with death likely to traumatic Questionable as to whether media has desensitized persons to death (Kastenbaum)

61 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y Implications for Counselors In a generation used to transparency on the web, confidentiality will have to be carefully explained Expect that you, as counselor, will be googled Develop a policy, in the consent form, on social networking sites –to friend or not to friend Multitasking is common in this generation – consent forms may need to address use of cell phones, texting (both in general and in session) etc.

62 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y Implications for the Workplace Natives too to the information age Very open and sharing Not hierarchical – so will often skip chain of command Will often, for example, share salary information with friends to assess their own salaries Expect quick and positive feedback Will avoid or leave positions that limit access to the Internet

63 Click icon to add clip art Generation Y (Millennials) Workplace Attitudes Want to be treated as special Often remain close to parents – may even bring them to interviews Need structure and desire feedback May be dependent Team and collaboration oriented rather than competitive Desire long-term careers with few risks and with benefits Likely to remain loyal to supportive companies Howe, 2010

64 Click icon to add clip art Generation Z (2001- ?) New generation emerging Most technologically connected – many have TVs, DVDs in rooms, cell phones likely as they age Will likely be technologically connected, multi-taskers Heavily influenced by Disney images – Hanna Montana, The Suite Life etc. Possible the New Silent Generation

65 Click icon to add clip art Generation Z Cyber community and cyber interaction

66 Click icon to add clip art Generations at Work A Summation Silent Generation – Value loyalty and discipline, respect authority and hierarchy Boomers entered work force at a competitive time – self-motivated, often hard workers Generation X – entrepreneurship valued, prefer a more flexible and horizontal structure. Strong sense that disputes should be conciliated Generation Y – First digital natives, individualistic, value autonomy, horizontal structures. Little loyalty or expectation of life- long employment. Often loyalty is more based on personal relationships

67 Click icon to add clip art Generational Differences Career Goals Silent Generation – Build a legacy Boomers – Build a stellar career (Competitive) Generation X –Build a portable career – showing many areas of competence and achievement

68 Click icon to add clip art Generational Differences Retirement Silent Generation – Retirement as a reward Boomers – Retirement as an opportunity for retooling, possible second career

69 Click icon to add clip art Generational Differences Changing Jobs Silent Generation – Shows disloyalty Boomers – Puts you behind in your career Generation X & Y – A necessary move to keep current and advancing (the moving shark analogy)

70 Click icon to add clip art Some Programs Can Transcend Cohorts Life Review and Reminiscence Programs Intergenerational Programs Even here, themes and activities must be cohort-sensitive

71 Click icon to add clip art The Value of Reminiscence Enhances mood Establishes time and role parity Bolsters self-esteem Establishes a continuity of identity As therapeutic tool Part of later life development Creates and bolsters community

72 Click icon to add clip art Danger of Life Review Can resurface earlier losses and traumas

73 Life Review Differences with Reminiscence Reminiscence focuses on positive memories and experiences Personal history – including positive and negative experiences Careful observation by therapist Attribution of meaning

74 Click icon to add clip art Life Review May Not be Useful with Highly Narcissistic Troubled Life Alienated Relationships Persons Unable or Unwilling to Reflect

75 Click icon to add clip art Life Review Problematic Populations Drawing lifes lessons What lessons would I like to pass on to others?

76 Click icon to add clip art Techniques for Life Review and Reminiscence Photographs and memorabilia Music and film Creative expressions Genealogies and genograms Reunions Pilgrimages

77 Click icon to add clip art Use all senses Sound Sight Touch and texture Taste Smell and aromas

78 Click icon to add clip art Ethical Wills: A Tool for Legacies, Remembrances and Inter- Generational Dialog Legal wills bequeath valuables, ethical wills bequeath values. (Baines, 2002)

79 Click icon to add clip art Age Lines A Life Review Technique Chart significant points in ones life Identify the challenges faced along the way Discuss strategies used to overcome these challenges

80 Click icon to add clip art Intergenerational Programs Can involve older persons assisting younger, younger assisting older, or mutually beneficial programs – perhaps joint service to the community Intergenerational programs can offer new stimulations, friendships, experiences, decrease isolation and loneliness, and raise self-esteem

81 Click icon to add clip art Re-Packaging Programs Other programs may still be used but will have to repackaged to meet generational interests The value of Bingo – hand/eye coordination, stimulation etc. Selling wellness Offering choices

82 Click icon to add clip art Everything Old Is New Again Truth of Cohort Analysis – We constantly reinvent systems of care and modify counseling approaches with each new generation


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