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Ageing at Home

Practical Approaches to Community Care

Ageing at Home by Theresa Cluning
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All of us age ...and an increasing number of us do, or will, live into really ripe old age, some of us living still when our ripeness needs to be specially valued and even protected.

When young, many look forward to being older gaining from the options and lack of restrictions of adulthood; but on the whole, relatively few people eagerly anticipate becoming 'older/elderly/aged/senior/old'.

Pessimism towards increasing age is based on a whole range of reasons to which are attached negative stereotypes which in turn result in prejudice towards people grouped on the grounds of their age. It is common that old people themselves also carry ageist attitudes and may well collude with those who are discriminating against them because of their age. Consequently, any publication which sets out to explain services that care for older people with concerns needs to be assessed as to whether the same principles,ways of working and conclusions would be drawn if age were not, of itself, a primary issue.There is no doubt that the attitudes and life experience of each worker will differ, but an essential prerequisite for working with older people is for every worker to be alert to the negative consequences of ageism, and to review his or her own attitudes and behaviours towards those older people.

The United Nations logo designed for the 1999 International Year of Older Persons symbolised, by three concentric open circles, the need to promote vitality of mind, spirit and body recognition and respect for diversity support for independence and interdependence.

The assumptions and styles of practice carried by the worker into community care with, of and for older people will necessarily be different, and likely to be more effective, in supporting the principles of IYOP than when working in institutional care. I think this difference is evident in many of the contributions to this book.

The reading of the contributions by people outside the direct areas of service with which the provider may be familiar can only benefit the understanding of how our 'old wholes' are much more fascinating, diverse and worthy of attention than the sum of our old parts'! And we interested older people can well benefit from being better informed by reading and discussing this book as if it had been produced specifically for us.

Ausmed Publications; September 2004
324 pages; ISBN 9781597340021
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Title: Ageing at Home
Author: Theresa Cluning