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Health and care in ageing societies

Health and care in ageing societies: A new international approach

Liz Lloyd
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  • Book Info
    Health and care in ageing societies
    Book Description:

    In the context of global ageing societies, there are few challenges to the underlying assumption that policies should promote functional health and independence in older people and contain the costs of care. This important book offers such a challenge. It provides a critical analysis of the limitations of contemporary policies and calls for a fuller understanding of the relationship between health and care throughout the life-course. Located within the tradition of the feminist ethic of care, the book provides a fresh insight into global policy debates and the impact that these have on people's experiences of ageing. Including international evidence on health inequalities, health promotion and health care, this book will be of interest to a range of social scientists, particularly specialists in gerontology and social policy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-0492-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
    (pp. v-v)
    Judith Phillips

    A global view of the complex relationship between health, care and ageing is provided in this refreshing approach to significant issues of later life. The book challenges a number of key assumptions of policy and practice, such as stereotypes of older people as a burden and drain on resources and society. It also questions the narrow and negative focus on healthcare in contrast to promoting positive health and well–being. Underpinning the discussion are frameworks to help the reader critique the processes involved in health and social care policies and the dominant discourses that have pervaded our thinking of how...

  2. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Ageing, health and care are complex and contentious concepts and have become inextricably linked in policy debates around the world. Apocalyptic ‘time–bomb’ messages continue to circulate, although they are now often accompanied by the more positive message that population ageing is a cause for celebration. The policy agenda on health and care in the context of ageing societies appears to have been settled and the task at hand is not to seek answers about the best way to respond so as much as to ensure compliance at local, national and international levels to a particular set of principles, consistent...

  3. TWO Patterns and trends in ageing and health
    (pp. 11-26)

    The UN World Population Ageing Report for 2009 stressed the implications of population ageing for the viability of intergenerational support systems and the sustainability of social security and healthcare systems (UN 2010a). These concerns are amplified in countries where thespeedat which population ageing occurs is greatest, many of which are countries where social security and healthcare systems are least well developed. The significance of the trends is enormous. In this chapter the focus is on the data on life expectancy and on mortality and morbidity rates, and on the implications of these as a basis for policy making...

  4. THREE Understanding health and care
    (pp. 27-46)

    In this chapter the focus is on ways of conceptualising health, care and the lifecourse. Health has been a major focus in the social sciences since the middle of the 20th century, and disciplinary differences as well as changes and developments within disciplines can be traced in a range of conceptualisations and models of health. Social research on non–medical perceptions of health and illness has generated interest in themeaningof health. Until recently, relatively little attention has been paid to the significance of age as an influencing factor in the construction of the meaning of health. As Higgs...

  5. FOUR The policy process in health and care
    (pp. 47-68)

    The discussions in the previous chapters have made a number of references to the role of policy in shaping the concepts of ageing, health and care. The aim of this chapter is to focus more specifically on policies asprocesseswhich are continuous, characterised by conflicts of interests and shaped through the exercise of power. An important aspect of the exercise of power is the production of knowledge to inform policy agendas. In health and social care policies, discourses surrounding demographic trends play a crucial role. As is argued, older people are frequently characteriseden masseas an economic problem,...

  6. FIVE Healthy ageing: upstream actions to prevent illness
    (pp. 69-88)

    In this chapter the aim is to explore in greater depth the idea of primary prevention in health, often referred to as ‘upstream’ action. In the context of health, the idea of prevention is complicated by the different ways of conceptualising health. The key focus of upstream interventions to promote health inlaterlife is on the gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. The idea of the compression of morbidity has generated a plethora of studies designed to identify more accurately appropriate interventions that will delay the onset, or at least the progression, of disease so as to...

  7. SIX Medicine, ageing and healthcare
    (pp. 89-110)

    At the secondary level of health promotion, the focus is on restoring health and alleviating symptoms. In this chapter the focus is on healthcare systems, which are understood as incorporating a wide range of treatment and support in response to illness. A number of ethical issues are raised in this discussion, including a revisiting of the discussion about the medicalisation of old age, which is discussed in relation to particular disorders associated with later life, as well as anti-ageing medicine. Population ageing has been regarded as a ‘driver of health system change’ because of the epidemiologic transition and because of...

  8. SEVEN Care for health in later life
    (pp. 111-130)

    The focus of this chapter is on the tertiary level of health promotion — action to promote health in the context of long-term or incurable illness. It is in these circumstances that the link between care and health takes a qualitative turn, and that the importance of care for health is at its most stark. As discussed in Chapter Three, the circumstances in which an increasing number of older people live during the last stage of life before death involve long–term illness and increased dependency on others, and because these illnesses are associated with the end of life they take...

  9. EIGHT Conclusion
    (pp. 131-140)

    The discussion in this text has spanned a range of issues of relevance to understanding health and care in ageing societies. At the outset, attention was drawn to the overarching policy principles that shape policies and practices in health and care: first, the focus on the gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy so as to maintain health and independence, and second, the need for a tight rein on public spending on health and social care services so that the cost of older people’s eventual dependency on services is contained. The discussion has covered a wide range of policies...