The idea that our society is ageing is a popular source of gloomy predictions for the future. We see today's youth struggling in their mature years to pay for the masses of geriatric baby boomers whose productive years lie far behind.
Australia's New Aged shows that this belief is part reality and part myth. While there will be an increase in the proportion of aged people in the next 20 years, this is a temporary phenomenon and it is likely that tomorrow's elderly will quite differently from their parents.
Australia's New Aged examines public policy for the aged in the context of an increasingly vocal and active elderly population and cutbacks to health and welfare spending. The authors argue that policy makers have become trapped in a 'social problem' approach to ageing that assumes the elderly are a homogeneous, disadvantaged group with common interests. They examine a range of cases and identify negative consequences of inappropriate assumptions in terms of structural blindness and brutality. They show that this approach is no longer viable and argue that both policy makers and the aged care industry will need to be more sensitive to diversity and more flexible than ever before.
Australia's New Aged is essential reading for students, policy makers and anyone working with the aged.
John McCallum is Professor of Public Health and Dean of the Faculty of Health at the University of Western Sydney, Macarthur and co-editor of Grey Policy (1990). Karin Geiselhart is a journalist previously employed by the Office for the Status of Women in Canberra.
Table of Contents
1 Our ageing population: part of a global wave
2 Post-modern ageing: unpicking poorly knit structures
3 Safer than houses? A new age for retirement incomes
4 Ageing and health: the failures of success?
5 Home versus homes: aged care services for the new aged
6 Carers come out! Family and community support of the aged
7 Care for sale? Marketing services for the aged in Asia
8 The new aged confront the new millennium
John McCallum is Professor of Public Health at the University of Western Sydney, Macarthur. Karin Gieselhart is a journalist.