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Comprehensive Notes for Lecture 9

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Midlife and Ageing- 1. Remarriage and blended families 2. The social construction of midlife and aging 3. Ageing in historic context 4. Caregiving and other dilemmas Remarriage Desire to remarry among divorces Canadians Why Not Remarry? - Preference for common-law o 30% of divorces o 22% never-married - Presence of children - Increasing age Cumulative Proportions in Union After Divorce - Women still have children residing with them - Men o Initiation of divorce o More income o Age o Blended Families - Women are more likely to end up with primary residence with children then men - Half of all blended families are with step-fathers Remarriage and Children (Possible) Benefits (Possible) Risks More financial resource Loss of contact with non-residential parent Reduced stigma Divided loyalties Parental relationship stability Risk of new divorce Boys: Conflict with authority figure Girls: Potential for abuse The Social Construction of Ageing - How do you know if someone is young? o No wrinkles, no grey hair o Education and engage in youth activities o How old parents are - How do you know if someone is middle-aged? o Attitude, what they look like, activities and preferences - How do you know if someone is old? o Move slowly What is Aging? Chronological Aging Physical Aging Social Aging Calendar-based Changes in body Changes in social status Status increases and “Milestone dates” Gradual deterioration decreases Individualized by life Everyone ages at same rate experience Membership in social group Universal Affected by historic change Affected by historic change Life Expectancy at Birth in Canada - Improvement in medical technology and medicine (vaccinations) - Diet and nutrition (especially protein) - Type of workforce (workplace accidents decreased) - Effective pre-natal and post-natal support Why Has Life Expectancy Increased? - Greatest gains among “oldest old” - “Healthy immigrant effect” o If you take Canada’s population, people outside of Canada tend to live longer and healthier lives then Canada’s population o If you take every immigrant out of the picture, Canada’s average age would decrease 5 years - Medical advances o “Alive, but not well” o People living with conditions that would have killed them in earlier times, and they live longer but their quality of life is not the best - Epidemiological transition o Changes in “what are the main causes of disease or death in the society” o Leading causes of death used to be contagious or infectious (ex. TB), or violence (ex. War) o Now the leading causes of death are chronic and endogenous conditions that will kill you when you are old (ex. Cancers, heart, lungs, brain) Women as proportion of total population by age (As of 2010) - Women still outlive men (although the gap is narrowing) - Aging is a gendered experience and women live into old age Gender and Ageing (Marital Status of elderly population) Men - Recipients of care (men are being looked after by wives) - Weak(er) social networks… - …But more financial resources o Have the house or sold the house and have the money o RRSP’s and old-age pension Women - Providers of care o Spouse, grandchildren - Strong(er) social networks - Economically vulnerable o Not much pension Social Aging in Historical Context- Stereotypes of Social Aging: Negative Positive Loss of childbearing ability (women) Wisdom of experience - Menopause “Paid their duties” Unattractive (women) - War veterans “heroes” - Not really for men… George Clooney - Build what we have today Respected by younger people Don’t contribute to workforce - Positive association of grandparents Survival is accomplishment Dependent on others - Surviving through everything in life as - Old age security an elder, getting to the age 65 is good because not many people achieve it - Old age homes in some cultures Drain society’s resource - More medical assistance necessary, less resources for youth Ageing and Historical Context- Pre-WW2 Baby Boomers Post-boomers Current Status “Oldest generation” Beginning to retire Productive workforce - Oldest living - Pension plan - In peak memories of wants them earning years historic past working and contributing - Mostly female into the plan - People in 90’s people of the 100’s baby boomers retiring Historic context “Depression babies
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