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Elders Living Alone : Frailty and the Perception of Choice - Janet C. Kilbride

Elders Living Alone

Frailty and the Perception of Choice

Paperback Published: 1st February 2005
ISBN: 9780202360843
Number Of Pages: 172

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What is it like to be old, have many health problems, and live alone? Never before have there been so many elders, and never before have so many of them been living alone and pursuing their lives independently. This book enters the lives of frail elders who live alone and vividly conveys their continuing struggle to maintain their independence. Many look to their homes as the important facilitating element for that independence, and that the home environment as well as personal space are the most significant elements for elders living alone.The authors' approach combines an eye and an ear for the telling individual detail, in all of its human complexity, with broader societal and communal concerns. In interviewing their subjects, Rubinstein and his colleagues examine how these elders view the choices they have, understand their independence, and raise possibilities and alternatives. Using a framework that will interest both anthropologists and case workers, the authors explore the cultural background of concepts such as independence and choice, and how they are symbolically located in the home.The authors register their subjects' urban isolation, fraught with needs of the most basic kind, imperiled by intermittent and uncertain human conduct, erratic provision, and occasionally engulfing solitude. These voices, seldom heard and often with reluctance, are caught and interpreted in these pages. The general hypothesis was that active management of the environment is itself a source of well-being for frail elders living alone.

-This book summarizes data from in-depth, open-ended interviews conducted on 52 frail and functionally impaired older persons living in the Philadelphia area. Informants were interviewed in their own homes, in three sessions each lasting a minimum of six hours. The authors, two anthropologists and a psychologist, focus on environmental factors that affect older peoples' independence and ability to live alone. Specifically, they examined how concepts of freedom of choice and desire for independence are actually realized in the daily lives of at-risk older persons... Recommended for gerontology programs.-

--L. A. Baumhover, Choice

-Elders Living Alone is a study of elderly people, mainly debilitated, living alone in Philadelphia... [It[ provides a caveat against using one's own value screen to judge the personal satisfaction provided by apparently marginal living conditions. It vividly demonstrates the pathological intensification of the American value of independence in the case of the frail elderly. In so doing, the book serves as an indictment against key values in bourgeois culture.-

--Andrea Sankar, American Anthropologist "This book summarizes data from in-depth, open-ended interviews conducted on 52 frail and functionally impaired older persons living in the Philadelphia area. Informants were interviewed in their own homes, in three sessions each lasting a minimum of six hours. The authors, two anthropologists and a psychologist, focus on environmental factors that affect older peoples' independence and ability to live alone. Specifically, they examined how concepts of freedom of choice and desire for independence are actually realized in the daily lives of at-risk older persons... Recommended for gerontology programs."

--L. A. Baumhover, Choice

"Elders Living Alone is a study of elderly people, mainly debilitated, living alone in Philadelphia... [It[ provides a caveat against using one's own value screen to judge the personal satisfaction provided by apparently marginal living conditions. It vividly demonstrates the pathological intensification of the American value of independence in the case of the frail elderly. In so doing, the book serves as an indictment against key values in bourgeois culture."

--Andrea Sankar, American Anthropologist "This book summarizes data from in-depth, open-ended interviews conducted on 52 frail and functionally impaired older persons living in the Philadelphia area. Informants were interviewed in their own homes, in three sessions each lasting a minimum of six hours. The authors, two anthropologists and a psychologist, focus on environmental factors that affect older peoples' independence and ability to live alone. Specifically, they examined how concepts of freedom of choice and desire for independence are actually realized in the daily lives of at-risk older persons... Recommended for gerontology programs."

--L. A. Baumhover, Choice

"Elders Living Alone is a study of elderly people, mainly debilitated, living alone in Philadelphia... [It[ provides a caveat against using one's own value screen to judge the personal satisfaction provided by apparently marginal living conditions. It vividly demonstrates the pathological intensification of the American value of independence in the case of the frail elderly. In so doing, the book serves as an indictment against key values in bourgeois culture."

--Andrea Sankar, American Anthropologist

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Choice Making as a Cultural Ideal and as a Behavior
Choice, Independence, and Agingp. 3
The Realm of Choice and Independencep. 4
Status Characteristicsp. 12
Factors Limiting Choices among the Study Populationp. 25
Health Problemsp. 26
Home and Neighborhoodp. 32
Neighborhoodp. 37
Fearp. 45
The Altered Ethos of Choice among Frail Elders Living Alonep. 51
The Culture of Living Alonep. 52
Choices Writ Smallp. 55
Vectors to the Outside World: Social Support, Social Networks, and the Personal Agentsp. 60
Lonelinessp. 63
Socialization for Choice Making among Frail Elders
The World at Homep. 79
Home as a Placep. 80
Some Casesp. 84
The Effect of Life History on Individual Choice: The Nature and the Role of Continuityp. 99
The Effect of Life History on Individual Choice: Discontinuityp. 125
Choice and Successful Aging: The Balancing Act
The Miniaturization of Satisfaction and Thereafter Choicep. 143
Successful and Unsuccessful Balancing Acts and the Role of the Individual and Communityp. 153
Referencesp. 167
Indexp. 169
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780202360843
ISBN-10: 0202360849
Series: Modern Applications of Social Work
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 172
Published: 1st February 2005
Country of Publication: DE
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 36.22  x 2.16
Weight (kg): 0.25