Ageing and Gerontology

Collection: Ageing and Gerontology

 

As a taster of our publishing in Ageing and Gerontology, we put together a collection of free articles, chapters and Open Access titles. If you are interested in trying out more content from our Global Social Challenges collections, ask your librarian to sign up for a free trial

Ageing and Gerontology Collection

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 61 items

Words matter, especially in times of crisis. This article analyses the complexities of political discourse on vulnerability by considering the case of the Dutch COVID-19 response. Our study finds that the framing of vulnerability as a predetermined and naturalised condition, linked to old age and pre-existing medical conditions, draws attention away from aspects of precarisation tied to economic position, social class, cultural background and living conditions. This rhetorical strategy can be understood as a practice of de-responsibilisation through which attention is rhetorically diverted from the way(s) in which political authorities are implicated in producing, exacerbating or failing to mitigate vulnerabilities.

Open access

The COVID-19 pandemic poses specific risks to vulnerable population groups. Informal carers for older adults are especially at risk of increased strain, as support from social networks and professional care services is no longer available or in short supply. Already before the pandemic, caring was unequally distributed within societies, with women and people in lower socio-economic status groups bearing a higher risk of caring strain. In this article, we propose a conceptual framework of (unequal) caring strain during the pandemic. We then summarise the state of empirical research, suggest questions for future studies and outline implications for social policy.

Open access

Sleep has been recognised as compromised in dementia care. This study aims to represent the experiences and needs of informal carers via sleep-related accounts. Retrospective interviews were conducted with 20 carers concerning sleep changes across the trajectory of dementia care. Key interactive narratives were around: ‘sleep as my sacrifice’; tensions between identities of being a ‘sleeper’ versus ‘guardian’; and ‘sleep as a luxury’. Maintaining healthy sleep and preferable sleep practices is challenging while balancing the responsibilities of dementia-related care. Acknowledging sleep as a sociological practice enables a greater understanding of carers’ nuanced experience and support needs.

Open access

This article expands understanding of the experiences of working carers by analysing their care activities and applying cognitive appraisal theory to explore how different resources affect carers’ appraisal processes. A total of 18 carers from the UK and Hong Kong took part in a qualitative daily diary study. The contributions of the article include providing a broader conceptualisation of care activities and considering the implications of cognitive appraisals and resources in the experience of combining work and care. The findings provide insights into future research design and support development.

Open access
Author:

This article explores the historical development of Carer’s Allowance in the UK, alongside legal challenges and recent proposals for changes to it in Scotland. Eligibility criteria for receipt of this allowance construct carers as people of ‘working age’ who provide care within dyadic relationships and exclude people whose unpaid caring work is more complex and/or interdependent. Disabled people are simultaneously constructed as dependent recipients of this care. Carer’s Allowance provides symbolic but conditional recognition of unpaid caring, while doing little to meet the financial or support needs of carers. This symbolism reinforces the role of gendered families as the main providers of care and of disabled people as dependent.

Open access

This study examines whether care workers in Finland feel able to provide adequate care for older people and analyses the working conditions that limit them from providing it. One third of the respondents felt that they were not able to provide sufficient care for older people. This was seen as being due to excessive workloads, a general lack of staff and accompanying physical and mental burdens. Improving care workers’ working conditions would enhance their work–life balance and allow them to help older people avoid situations of care poverty, that is, to receive the level of care they deserve.

Open access
Authors: and

In China, Confucian authoritative familism has long established the tradition of paternal grandparents caring for grandchildren. With urbanisation in progress, many older people choose to settle in cities with their children, mainly to look after their grandchildren, and are known as ‘migrant grandparents’. Through a study of this group in Shanghai, the article reveals four other roles of migrant grandparents in addition to the role of caregivers: namely, workers, leisure seekers, in-laws (qingjia) and spouses. The prioritisation of grandparents’ roles demonstrates their increasing subjectivity in self-determination, transformative social values and personal life expectations. This article argues that Chinese older adults have begun to individualise and that these practices have contributed both to the destruction of the collective single-core family model in traditional and neo-familism and the emergence of independent, dual-core familism between two generations.

Full Access

Patient and public involvement is a way of ensuring that research and practices are more responsive to their target groups. This study, inspired by discourse psychology, explores the knowledge contributions of informal carers who participated in group meetings to co-create a support intervention. Findings highlight that carers’ knowledge is complex, including more than practical caring experiences. Acknowledging carers’ knowledge contributions and involving a heterogeneous sample of carers are key considerations for patient and public involvement in research; otherwise, there is a danger of establishing risks of injustice. Accepting the multifaceted knowledge of carers could increase the validity of research and the relevance of interventions developed.

Open access
Everyday Life during the Pandemic

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

This book provides new insights into the challenges facing older people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It draws upon novel qualitative longitudinal research which recorded the experiences of a diverse group of people aged 50+ in Greater Manchester over a 12-month period during the pandemic. The book analyses their lived experiences and those of organisations working to support them, shedding light on the isolating effects of social distancing.

Covering 21 organisations, as well as 102 people from four ethnic/identity groups, the authors argue that the pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities in the UK, disproportionately affecting low-income neighbourhoods and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

The book outlines recommendations in relation to developing a ‘community-centred approach’ in responding to future variants of COVID-19, as well as making suggestions for how to create post-pandemic neighbourhoods.

Open access
An International Comparison

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Technology is quickly becoming an integral part of care systems across the world and is frequently cited in policy discourse as pivotal for solving the ‘crisis’ in care and delivering positive outcomes.

Exploring the role of technology in Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, this book examines how technology contributes effectively to the sustainability of these different care systems which are facing similar emergent pressures, including increased longevity, falling fertility and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It considers the challenges and opportunities of embedding technologies in care systems and the subsequent outcomes for older and disabled service users, carers and the care workforce.

Open access