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Public Policy and Older People-Where Are We Going?

Journal of Social Policy

Author: Means, R.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1987


A review essay on books by: L. Clarke, Domiciliary Services for the Elderly (London: Croom Helm, 1984); M. Fisk, Independence and the Elderly (London: Croom Helm, 1986); F. Wright, Left to Care Alone (Aldershot: Gower, 1986); A. Norten, B. Stoten, & H. Taylor, Councils of Care: Planning a Local Government Strategy for Older People (London: Centre for Policy on Ageing, 1986); A. Butler (Ed), Ageing: Recent Advances and Creative Responses (London: Croom Helm, 1986); & C. Phillipson, M. Bernard, & P. Strang (Eds), Dependency and Interdependency in Old Age-Theoretical Perspectives and Policy Alternatives (London: Croom Helm, 1986 see listings in IRPS No. 43 ). These books reflect the renewed interest by social scientists in the elderly, primarily as a result of the recognition of the cost implications of the continued growth of the elderly population & their attendant needs for increased health & social services. Clarke argues that the elderly have been badly let down by social service departments, & offers some solutions. Fisk calls for more flexible domiciliary & housing services so as to decrease the institutionalization of the elderly. Wright uses interview data to describe the situation of 58 unmarried adult children living at home with at least one infirm parent. Norten, Stoten, & Taylor review local government policies & priorities in GB regarding services for the elderly, demonstrating that some plans are capable of implementation even under current fiscal constraints. The works by Butler & Phillipson et al are collections of papers originally presented at the 1984 & 1985 (respectively) conferences of the British Society of Gerontology, which provide an overview of current research interests & policy debates. Certain themes underlying all these books are explored in depth: Are the elderly a homogeneous group? How do social class & gender issues impinge on them? What is the most appropriate mix of housing, health, & social services for the elderly, & what changes are needed &/or feasible in the current fiscal & political climate to provide for them?

Further Details

Pages: 543-550
Volume: 16
Issue: 4
Accession Number: 23.5.03
Keywords: older, health improvement, policy compliance, housing improvement
Reads: 155