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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2011): Care of the elderly - overseas

Ageing science, health care and the social inclusion of older people

J. Latimer and others

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol.12, Mar. 2011, p. 11-16

This paper presents some preliminary findings of a study of the social, ethical and cultural aspects of ageing science and medicine. There has been much criticism of ageing science as being anti-ageing and as reinforcing the ageism prevalent in Western culture. This paper aims to suggest how biogerontology can contribute to the social inclusion of older people, particularly in relation to healthcare. It discusses how ageism is endemic to some aspects of healthcare, and goes on to show how biogerontology is reconceptualising what it is to age and to be old and can help to re-include ageing and the aged in healthcare education, policy and practice.

Innovation and evaluation: taming and unleashing telecare technology

J. Pols and D. Willems

Sociology of Health and Illness, vol.33, 2011, p. 484-498

In most European countries telecare is expected to help society cope with growing numbers of frail elderly people and decreasing numbers of carers and to promote independent living. This article compares the grand promises made for telecare technologies with the practical realities of their implementation through a case study of their use for people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the Netherlands. It is shown that the technologies have to be adapted and adjusted to fit the needs of users. The technologies may also affect care practices in unforeseen ways. Thus the promises related to the benefits of the technologies made in advance of their application may be untenable.

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