Aging and Social Policy

Getting Started

The Social Security Act of 1935 laid the groundwork for policy regarding aging populations, and amendments have been added since. For example, the Older American’s Act of 1965 sought to improve services for the aging. However, there is much to be done in the policy arena. Health care, Medicare, and Social Security reforms are among the hot topics in the policy arena today. The Baby Boomer generation is now reaching retirement age. How will this impact the system? Children are no longer staying in the same community as their parents. How will this impact elder care?

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services. (PO 5)
  • Analyze policies with regard to advancement of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. (PO 5, ILO 5)
  • Demonstrate character, scholarship, and leadership in becoming a world changer through application to personal life and professional social work practice.
  • Demonstrate Christ-like attitudes, values, worldviews, and ethical and professional behavior within advanced clinical practice. (ILO 1)


  • Textbook: Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World
  • Video: What Really Matters at the End of Life
  • File: APA 6e Guide.pdf
  • File: APA Template for Assignments.docx
  • Academic Writer (Available in IWU Resources)

Background Information

In this assignment, you watch a video in which BJ Miller poses the question, “At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for?” For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, and love. Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think regarding death and how to honor life.


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World, read Chapter 13, “Aging and Social Policy.”
  3. Watch the TED Talks video by BJ Miller, “What Really Matters at the End of Life,.” If you are not already logged in to the Off-Campus Library Services (OCLS) website, you will be prompted to enter your MyIWU login and password. You can also download and view the TED Talks: BJ Miller—What Really Matters at the End of Life Video Transcript.pdf file.
  4. Review the IWU APA 6e Guide on how to cite sources properly.
  5. Referencing the workshop resources, write a one-paragraph response to each question set, using the APA Template for Assignments.docx to complete your assignment.
    1. What type of retirement do you feel should be available to most Americans? Should it be the individual’s responsibility to bring that about, or should a certain level be guaranteed by governmental policy?
    2. Check the websites of several nursing homes in your area. If you can, visit a few of them. Try to find at least one that has higher costs and one that has lower costs. What differences do you see in the apparent quality of care? How would you feel about placing a relative of yours in one that costs only what Medicaid reimburses?
    3. Reflect on your own future retirement. How confident are you that you will be able to maintain a lifestyle similar to or better than the one you currently have? What steps have you taken to make your hopes a reality?
    4. What policies are in place locally and nationally to support the aging? Are they sufficiently funded?
    5. How could you advocate for more services to allow people to “die with dignity”?
  6. Before finalizing your work, ensure that you:
    1. 12-point, double-spaced Times New Roman font
    2. One-inch margins on all sides
    3. Normal character spacing
    4. In-text citations
    5. Title page and reference page
    1. Read the assignment instructions carefully.
    2. Use the spelling and grammar check.
    3. Review APA formatting and citation.
    4. Use APA format for organization, style, and source credits, including:
  7. Review the rubric that your instructor will use to evaluate your work. Self-assess your assignment using the rubric and make improvements as needed to meet expectations and ensure that your work fulfills all the requirements.
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