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A humanist approach to ageing

How can we understand older people as real human beings, value their wisdom, and appreciate that their norms and purposes both matter in themselves and are affected by those of others?

Using a life-course approach, “Valuing older people" argues that the complexity and potential creativity of later life demand a humanistic vision of older people and ageing. It acknowledges the diversity of experiences of older age and presents a range of contexts and methodologies through which they can be understood. Ageing is a process of creating meaning carried out by older people, and is significant for those around them. This book, therefore, considers the impact of social norms and political and economic structures on older people’s capacities to age in creative ways. What real obstacles are there to older people’s construction of meaningful lives? What is being achieved when they feel they are ageing well?

This collection, aimed at students, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, offers a lively and constructive response to contemporary challenges involving ageing and how to understand it.

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255 EIGHTEEN Ethics and older people Anthea Tinker Summary There are two main areas where ethical issues arise for older people in health and social care. The first relates to services and the second to research. This chapter will start with general issues, such as general and demographic factors, in order to examine the ethical case for and against treating older people differently from other age groups. Are there groups, such as those with dementia, who should receive different attention? On services, ethical issues such as those relating to age discrimination

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in Ethics

95 Older people, sexuality and intimacy SIX Older people, sexuality and intimacy Contents Introduction 95 Sexuality and the quality of life across ages 97 Images of older people and sexuality 97 Distaste 99 Changes in attitudes 100 Sexual activity 101 Physical changes over time 101 Psychological factors 102 Social contexts 103 Sexuality and intimacy: the views of older people 103 Professional support 106 Key points • Older people are assumed to have lost interest in sex, but this is an assumption that is not supported by evidence. • Some physical changes occur

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187 NINE gerontologists and older people In this penultimate chapter I want to discuss the relationship between gerontologists and older people. There is in this a classic example of ‘us and them’. As Margaret Simey commented a few years ago, when addressing the annual conference of the British Society of Gerontology: “For us, ‘we’ are older people and gerontologists are ‘them’.” To overcome this harsh divide, there have been moves to promote ‘participative research’ through projects in which older people are actively involved in ways other than just as

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In an ageing society, the health and well-being of older people has become a primary focus of concern for government, policy makers and practitioners. With moves towards greater integration of health and social care services, there is a need for improved understanding of the importance and benefits of a person-centred, holistic approach to work in these fields.

This accessible text, the produce of a collaborative venture between older people’s groups and academics, provides students, academics and practitioners across a wide range of health and social care professions, including, nursing, social work, social care and gerontology, with a guide to understanding the value of this approach.

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109 eiGhT Changing communities and older people 8.1 introduction The social and economic structure of local communities in Britain has changed considerably in recent decades, particularly in terms of the closure of services and facilities that have traditionally been at their centre, such as post offices, banks and local shops. These changes affect us all, but they are particularly significant for older people, many of whom spend more time in their neighbourhoods as they grow older and often find themselves facing reduced mobility, poorer health

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85 6Older people Practice scenario Walter is a gay man in his early eighties who lives in a village in a rural area. He is currently in hospital following a fall in his garden where he spends much of his time. the hospital doctors want to discharge him and he has been receiving physiotherapy so he can now walk with a walking aid. although Walter has lived in his current home since his retirement 15 years ago, he is a private person and is known by his neighbours to keep himself to himself. He is not ‘out’ to them and he is careful not to reveal personal

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181 fourteen Involving older people in research: empowering engagement? Lizzie Ward and Beatrice Gahagan Introduction Over recent years the drive to give older people ‘a voice’ has gained momentum. Involving older people in the design, delivery, commissioning and monitoring of services has become part of United Kingdom (UK) government policy (DH, 2001a, 2009a; DWP, 2005, 2009). In part this can be understood as a response to demographic change as more people are living longer and healthier lives and assumptions about old age have been increasingly

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Introduction The adult foster care of older people is a community-based care service that has gained increasing attention over the last ten years in Finland. It is seen as a form of family care of older people in which the family with whom the older person lives are not their kin. In this article, we use the term ‘adult foster care’ to distinguish this service from ordinary family care, as well as from foster care for children. In 2010, the adult foster care of older people was organised in only 15 (of 342) municipalities. However, by 2018, the number had

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93 FIVE Policy for older people in wales Gill Windle and Alison Porter introduction Social policy in relation to older people is an area of increasing importance. This chapter looks at an innovative approach to using policy to improve older people’s lives: the Strategy for Older People in Wales. This broad, high-level policy development takes a holistic approach to older people’s lives, and places a great emphasis on engaging older people in the democratic process. The chapter takes a critical look at the implementation of the Strategy, and considers the

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