This is the first book to address the issue of ageing after a long life with disability. It breaks new ground through its particular life course perspective, examining what it means to age with a physical or mental disability and what the implications are of ‘becoming old’ for people who have had extensive disabilities for many years. These people may have had to leave the labour market early, and the book looks at available care resources, both formal and informal. Ageing with disability challenges set ideas about successful ageing, as well as some of those about disabilities. The life course approach that is used unfolds important insights about the impact of multiple disabilities over time and on the phases of life. The book highlights the meaning of care in unexplored contexts, such as where ageing parents are caregivers or regarding mutual care in disabled couples. These are areas of knowledge which have, to date, been totally neglected.
35 THREE disability, identity and ageing Lotta Holme ‘In contrast to previous living conditions, we now gain access to normal ageing.’ (oscar, 62 years old) introduction In this chapter I explore from a lifecourse perspective how important leading activists of the modern Swedish disability movement regard their ageing and later life. More specifically, I focus on how a special group of disabled people experience ageing and later life in light of the modern history of disability and disability politics in which they have actively participated (see also
SeVen Ageing, disability and participation Janet Fast and Jenny de Jong Gierveld Meaningful participation and social integration in society have been shown to contribute to ageing well. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal research have linked social participation to positive outcomes including quality of life (Silverstein and Parker, 2002), emotional well-being (Lee and Russell, 2003), functional independence (Unger et al, 1997) and lower morbidity and mortality rates (Menec, 2003). Importantly, social participation is seen to lead to social embededdness
1 oNE Ageing with disability: An introduction Eva Jeppsson Grassman and Anna Whitaker background The risk of acquiring impairments of various kinds increases as we grow older. Such old age-related impairments are not the ones at issue in this book, however. Instead, the focus is on people who have acquired impairments or chronic illness earlier in life, perhaps during childhood, adolescence or young adulthood, and who have had better chances than those in previous generations to live long lives. The aim of the book is to discuss – from a lifecourse
TWo Crossing borders: lifecourse, rural ageing and disability Tamara Daly and Gordon Grant Introduction This chapter introduces lifecourse perspectives that contribute to our understandings of ageing and disability in rural places; highlights what key assumptions about ageing, disability and rural places might fruitfully inform current thinking about the lifecourse; and raises questions for further research. As is evident from the preceding chapter, rural communities are defined in terms of locality and social representation, implying considerable
129 EIGHT living and ageing with disability: summary and conclusion Anna Whitaker and Eva Jeppsson Grassman introduction This chapter gives a summary of the main results and perspectives presented in this volume, the aim of which was to discuss what it means to live a long life, to age and to become old for people who have disabilities acquired early in life. Key questions that have been discussed are: what does it mean to live a long life and age with a disability, either physical or mental? What are the implications of ‘becoming old’ for people who have
73 FIVE being one’s illness: On mental disability and ageing Per Bülow and Tommy Svensson introduction To most people, growing old means changes in their social life, economy and health. Gerontological research is often framed by the idea of life conceptualised as a process involving ‘normal’ stages of childhood, schooling, professional career, family, and where old age is seen as a final stage. Ageing and old age, however, are not static or fixed concepts, but their contents vary over time. Some current changes can be related to the fact that the
17 TWo time, age and the failing body: A long life with disability Eva Jeppsson Grassman Krister was just about to turn 30 when he was interviewed for the first time in 1981. He had become blind a few years earlier as a complication of his juvenile diabetes. He was glowing with youthful enthusiasm. The blindness had changed his life completely, but mainly in a positive sense, he maintained. It had made him break away from his small town life, he said. He had learned new things about himself, and he was looking forward to starting further education
91 SIx in the shade of disability reforms and policy: Parenthood, ageing and lifelong care Anna Whitaker ‘We are a disabled family!’ introduction This short but concise quote captures one of this chapter’s key assumptions: that the experience of ageing with a lifelong disability is something that not only influences the disabled individual, but also very much contributes to shaping the lives of the family members (DeMarle and le Roux, 2001; Dowling and Dolan, 2001; Brett, 2002; Shakespeare, 2006). While the other chapters of this book build on
This important book addresses a growing international interest in ‘age-friendly’ communities. It examines the conflicting stereotypes of rural communities as either idyllic and supportive or isolated and bereft of services. Providing detailed information on the characteristics of rural communities, contributors ask the question, ‘good places for whom’?
The book extends our understanding of the intersections of rural people and places across the adult lifecourse. Taking a critical human ecology perspective, authors trace lifecourse changes in community and voluntary engagement and in the availability of social support. They illustrate diversity among older adults in social inclusion and in the types of services that are essential to their well being. For the first time, detailed information is provided on characteristics of rural communities that make them supportive to different groups of older adults. Comparisons between the UK and North America highlight similarities in how landscapes create rural identities, and fundamental differences in how climate, distance and rural culture shape the everyday lives of older adults.
"Rural ageing" is a valuable resource for students, academics and practitioners interested in communities, rural settings and ageing and the lifecourse. Rich in national profiles and grounded in the narratives of older adults, it provides theoretical, empirical and practical examples of growing old in rural communities never before presented.