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Research Library

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Making Sense of Experience: Death and Old Age

Journal of Social Work Practice

Author: Machin, L.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1998

Abstract:

Explores the contemporary context in which older people make sense of their own & others' death, offering a historical perspective on death for the current cohort of older people, identifying four significant catalytic elements: two world wars, decline in ritual, increased secularization, & increased individualism. Considered are changed patterns of health & social care that have been prompted by new medical advances & the rise in the bureaucratic management of care services. The dilemma of choice-constraint confronting older people is epitomized in the issues of private freedom vs public control embodied by the euthanasia debate. Challenged are social stereotypes in which possibilities in old age for personal choice & the opportunity to accommodate grief go unseen. New theoretical perspectives on grief are seen to offer a broader view of what is normal in bereavement than is found in classical theories. Additionally, they propose that support is necessary in natural networks as well as therapeutic settings, offering a breakthrough in the normalization of grief for older people.

Further Details

Pages: 217-226
Volume: 12
Issue: 2
Accession Number: 21.5.03
Keywords: older, emotional
Reads: 212
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