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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2008): Care of the elderly - overseas

Ageing, disability and spirituality: addressing the challenge of disability in later life

E. MacKinlay (editor)

London: J. Kingsley, 2008

This collection examines theological and ethical issues of ageing, disability and spirituality, with an emphasis on how ageing affects people who have mental health and developmental disabilities. The book presents ways of moving towards more effective relationships between carers and older people with disabilities and ways in which to connect compassionately and beneficially with the person's spiritual dimension. The book highlights the importance of recognizing the personhood of all people regardless of age and of disability, whatever form it takes. It identifies factors inherent in personhood and provides ways of affirming and promoting spiritual well-being for older people with disabilities.

Ageing societies: a comparative introduction

V. Timonen

Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2008

The book provides an introduction to the central social, economic and political aspects and impacts of ageing and makes the case for the importance of analysing ageing from a number of different perspectives. The book highlights the nature of ageing as an individual and societal experience and argues that whilst ageing is becoming an increasingly widespread and global experience, age-related policies, practices and consequently the actual lived experience of ageing differ greatly between countries and regions of the world. Using comparative international data, it provides a detailed description of the process of population ageing, including increasing longevity, changes in fertility and variations in the health status of older populations. In addition, the book sets out the social context and background of ageing, discussing related and relevant developments, such as:

  • Changes in family structures
  • Patterns of household formation
  • Women's labour market participation
  • Income and work in older age
  • Health and social care of older people
  • Attitudes towards older people

Breaking the mould: new trajectories in the domiciliary care of older people in Ireland

M. Doyle and V. Timonen

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 17, 2008, p. 324-332

This article reviews the development of domiciliary care services for older people in Ireland over the past decade. It reveals three central developments:

  • the first steps towards a quasi-market
  • the introduction of cash for care and the subsequent segmentation of care tasks among three provider groups
  • a rapidly increasing reliance on for-profit private home care providers.

The authors conclude that, while the Irish social care regime is still anchored in important ways in the primacy of family care, it has broken path dependency by evolving towards of public, not-for-profit and for-profit provision and financing.

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