The world is growing older and this is a historically unprecedented phenomenon. Negotiating such change, personally, socially and for governments and international organisations requires an act of cultural adaptation. Two key questions arise: What is the purpose of a long life? and How do we adapt to societies where generations are of approximately the same size? A number of pre-existing narratives can be identified; however, it is argued that contemporary policies have produced a premature answer which may eclipse the potential arising from lifecourse change.
In this book Simon Biggs discusses ways of interrogating these questions and the adaptations we make to them. Four major areas, all of which have been suggested as solutions to population ageing, are critically assessed, including work as an answer, the relationship between work, ageing and health, narratives of spirit, belief and wisdom, the body and the natural, anti-ageing medicine, critical approaches to dementia, plus family and intergenerational relations.
This book is particiularly useful for those trying to make sense of population ageing and negotiate solutions. It describes a number of concepts that can be used to assess what we are told about a long life and how generations can adapt together.
With the cultural landscape moving away from traditional interpretations of old age, the question of adult ageing is of growing interest to a number of groups. This book is essential reading for social and health-care workers, other helping professionals, policy makers, social scientists and all who encounter the prospect of a long life.
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