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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2006): Care of the Elderly - Overseas

Economic status of the elderly in Hong Kong: homogeneous or heterogeneous?

K.-L. Chou, N.W.S. Chow and I. Chi

International Social Work, vol.49, 2006, p.218-232

The population of Hong Kong is rapidly ageing. This research demonstrates that elderly people vary widely in terms of their economic well-being according to their gender, age, education, marital status and employment status. At present the Higher Old Age Allowance offers public assistance to all older people over 70 regardless of their private means. The authors argued that instead of being a universal benefit it should be targeted on the poorest.

From age discrimination to age equality in health care: a European overview

S. Wait

Working with Older People, vol.10, March 2006, p.26-29

All European health care systems are founded on the principles of acute care. They are ill equipped to serve an ageing population which will present with chronic, rather than acute, conditions. In order to meet the needs of ageing populations, health services will need to: 1) ensure that treatment is patient centred; 2) improve clinicians’ training in the care of older patients; 3) build the evidence base on how treatments work with older people; and 4) remove financial barriers to accessing social care.

Greatest generation or greedy geezers? Social spending preferences of the elderly

D. Street and J.S. Cossman

Social Problems, vol.53, 2006, p.75-96

Some commentators argue that older Americans support public spending on programmes that benefit them directly, such as Medicare and Social Security, while begrudging state help for citizens of other ages. This perspective holds that elderly citizens jeopardise the social welfare of other age groups by making extravagant claims on Medicare and Social Security for themselves. Article uses data from the General Social Survey to examine whether preferences for increased spending on health, education and Social Security expressed by citizens of varying age groups are consistent with age-based self-interest and found no evidence that this is the case.

Poverty and hardship among the aged in urban China

P. Saunders and Sun Lujun

Social Policy and Administration, vol.40, 2006, p.138-157

This article uses a unique national data set to examine the living conditions of older people in urban China. Results showed that in 2000 6% of males living alone and almost 26% of females had incomes below a poverty line based on minimum living standard benefit levels. The poverty rate among all aged single people and couples was estimated to be around 13%. Women were found to experience greater deprivation than men at all ages, regardless of whether they lived alone or with a partner. Overall, in terms of multiple hardship, more than one quarter of men and over two-fifths of women were found to experience at least two key forms of deprivation or exclusion.

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