People’s life expectancy is increasing throughout the world as a result of improved living standards and medical advances. The natural ageing process is accompanied by physiological changes which can have significant consequences for mobility. As a consequence, older people tend to make fewer journeys than other adults and may change their transport mode. Access to public transport can help older people to avail themselves of goods, services, employment and other activities. With the current generation of older people being more active than previous generations of equivalent age, public transport will play a crucial role in maintaining their active life style even when they are unable to drive. Hence, public transport is important to older people’s quality of life, their sense of freedom and independence. Within the European Commission funded GOAL (Growing Older and staying mobile) project, the requirements of older people using public transport were studied in terms of four main issues: Affordability, availability, accessibility and acceptability. These requirements were then analysed in terms of five different profiles of older people defined within the GOAL project – ‘Fit as a Fiddle’, ‘Hole in the Heart’, ‘Happily Connected’, An ‘Oldie but a Goodie’ and ‘Care-Full’. On the basis of the analysis the paper brings out some areas of knowledge gaps and research needed to make public transport much more attractive and used by older people in the 21st century.
There is much research about those who exit the labour market prematurely, however, comparatively little is known about people working longer and about their employment and working conditions. In this paper, we describe the employment and working conditions of men and women working between 65 and 80 years, and compare them with previous conditions of those retired in the same age group. Analyses are based on wave 4 data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) with information collected between 2009 and 2011 from 17,625 older men and women across 16 European countries. Besides socio-demographic and health-related factors (physical and mental health), the focus lies on employment conditions (e.g. employment status, occupational position and working hours) and on stressful working conditions, measured in terms of low control at work and effort-reward imbalance. In case of retired people, information on working conditions refer to the last job before retirement. Following descriptive analyses, we then conduct multivariable analyses and investigate how working conditions and poor health are related to labour market participation (i.e. random intercept models accounting for country affiliation and adjusted for potential confounders). Results illustrate that people working between the ages of 65 and 80 are more likely to be self-employed (either with or without employees) and work in advantaged occupational positions. Furthermore, findings reveal that psychosocial working conditions are generally better than the conditions retired respondents had in their last job. Finally, in contrast to those who work, health tends to be worse among retired people. In conclusion, findings deliver empirical evidence that paid employment beyond age 65 is more common among self-employed workers throughout Europe, in advantaged occupations and under-favourable psychosocial circumstances, and that this group of workers are in considerably good mental and physical health. This highlights that policies aimed at increasing the state pension age beyond the age of 65 years put pressure on specific disadvantaged groups of men and women.
In Norway, long-term care needs are rising rapidly. Due to the dual-earner family model and the fact that many people live far away from frail parents and other dependent family members, the growing care needs may not be met through informal care. Through the Nordic welfare system, formal care services are provided to all citizens in need of care, regardless of their age, income or family relations. Since the 1990s, however, Norway has experienced a shortage of healthcare personnel. In this ‘care deficit’ situation, skilled immigrants play an increasingly important role. To date, the international literature has examined the experiences of the professional migrant care workers in a limited way. In particular, there is a lack of knowledge of this issue in rural contexts where recruitment challenges may be even more pronounced than in urban areas. This article addresses this knowledge gap by examining the spatial and relational experiences of skilled migrants working in the healthcare sector in Finnmark, northernmost Norway. In this study, the informants share largely positive experiences, stating that their care services are highly valued and that caring provides them with a sense of joy and mastery. Moreover, they talk about the importance of establishing trust in the relationship with their users and note that some patients end up becoming almost like family members. The migrants’ relationships with colleagues and management at the workplace are also defined by mainly positive feelings, trust and respect. Caring is hence perceived by the migrants as an inherently sense-making practice.
In this study, we aimed to identify which of certain demographic and socio-economic groups in the oldest part of the population that have an increased probability of experiencing simultaneous disadvantages in different life domains - here termed coexisting disadvantages. To do so, we compared analyses of coexisting disadvantages, measured as two or more simultaneous disadvantages, with analyses of single disadvantages and specific combinations of disadvantages. Indicators of physical health problems, ADL limitations, psychological health problems, limited financial resources, and limited social resources were included. We used nationally representative data from 2011 on people aged 76 and older in Sweden (n = 765). Results showed that coexisting disadvantages were associated with specific demographic and socio-economic groups, particularly certain marital status groups. Moreover, the differences between the demographic and socio-economic groups were only found for those who reported coexisting disadvantages, and not for those who reported only one disadvantage, which suggests that demographic and social factors become more important as disadvantages compound. Further, we analysed pairwise combinations of disadvantages. We found that different combinations of disadvantages tended to be associated with different groups, information useful from a social planning perspective since different combinations of disadvantages may imply different needs for help and support.
An explicit goal of age-friendly community initiatives is that neighborhoods should include residents of all ages. This quality has been little assessed, either in naturally-occurring communities or in communities engaged in age-friendly interventions. We addressed the research questions: How commonly does the age distribution of a neighborhood reflect the age distribution of the U.S. as a whole? What types of representative and non-representative neighborhoods exist, and what are their sociodemographic characteristics? We conducted a descriptive analysis of data from the 2010 Census on the age distribution of the 71,864 populated census tracts that comprise the lower 48 United States. We found that approximately two-thirds of neighborhoods had age distributions that differed from the age composition of the U.S. Neighborhoods that overrepresented older adults aged 60 and older were almost one-quarter of all neighborhoods. Age representative and age non-representative neighborhoods differed in their racial/ethnic and socioeconomic composition as well. We conclude that most individuals lack neighborhood exposure to an age representative cross-section of the U.S. population. We discuss the implications of this finding for policymaking in age-friendly community initiatives.
Accurate reporting of sources of income is needed in studies of intergenerational transfers and welfare of the elderly. The objective of this paper is to investigate how memory in the elderly is related to the reporting of remittances received from their children in Thailand. Using data from a longitudinal study of 1036 persons age 60 to 93 in a province in Thailand, the influence of a word recall (verbal learning and recall), and nickname recall (verbal learning and recall) on reporting of remittance was assessed. Initially, both measures were positively and significantly related to the reporting of remittance. The results remained significant only for the nickname task after controlling for education, wealth, living arrangements and disability. The results highlight the importance of cognitive issues in the quality of data and the need for attention to memory in questionnaire design.
In the last decade, there has been a growing awareness regarding social exclusion. Considering the ageing population and the likelihood of older people being socially excluded, the aims of this article are to: (1) review existing studies concerning social exclusion in later life; and (2) identify how environmental and life-course perspectives are presented in studies focusing on social exclusion in later life. A systematic review in seven scientific databases was conducted to explore the peer-reviewed evidence. In total, 26 articles were included and analysed. Findings describe the variety of methods, conceptualisation, dimensions and measures used in this recent area of research. Determinants of social exclusion in later life are discussed and life-course and environmental perspectives are examined. The discussion highlights the complex character of the concept and measurement of social exclusion, and the presence of general and age-specific dimensions of social exclusion in later life. The time and context relativity and the need for life-course and environmental perspectives on social exclusion in later life are discussed. Finally, future directions of research are discussed.
This paper aimed to identify determinants of work decision among older people living in rural Vietnam. We applied a probit regression model with the nationally representative data from Vietnam Aging Survey (VNAS) in 2011. The results show that age, heath status, marital status, number of members aged under 15 and retirement and/or social allowance receipt had markedly impacts on rural older people’s decision to work. Surprisingly, neither educational level nor ethnicity of rural older people had any significant influence on their work decision. Based on these findings, we suggested some policy recommendations to facilitate older people’s work as well as secure their income.
This paper focuses on an understanding of the senior tourism market through an exploration the global-local dimension of international strategies that firms and destinations could implement in order to fit this high growing demand segment. We will argue that this market trend is a global one with an increasing presence in all the continents and in every type of country, from the most advanced to developing countries. This does not mean that the answer to this trend can always be a global strategy, meaning to provide the same touristic product for all seniors in every country. To determine an international strategy it is important to know if the tourism behaviour of seniors, and their motivations and determinants are common internationally; or do they show substantial differences that require a strategic adaptation, depending on the country of origin. To begin exploring this important issue, we decided to undertake exploratory research (Kozak Tourism Management, 23(3), 221–232, 2002; Patuelli and Nijkamp 2015) based on a meta-analysis of the literature, to design a model for classifying the variables identified in each country, testing their capabilities so as to be comprehensive, and reflect upon the common denominators that may articulate a global tourism market and the variables that encourage major differences to emerge. Our conclusions found that both dimensions coexist, making it possible to apply both global and local strategies, and preferably transnational approaches. This allowed us to validate our model as an useful tool to summarize previous research and to structure in a holistic way the diverse variables to consider a better understanding of the senior tourism market. Further research is proposed to advance more accurate conclusions.
Although many of the financial barriers to accessing health care in Canada have been dismantled, there may exist other, socioeconomic barriers that result in inequitable utilization of health services. If true, such barriers may disproportionally affect older adults since this group is likely to be economically more vulnerable compared with the general population and is relatively more susceptible to disease and disability. This paper investigates the association between socioeconomic status and health services utilization for a sample of older adults (ages 65 and over) drawn from the public-use microdata files of the Canadian Community Health Survey for 2011 and 2012. The study includes controls for the individual’s health needs and health behaviour so that correlations between socioeconomic status and health care use are reflective of equity (or not) in access to health care. Results from the analysis suggest that socioeconomic standing is significantly associated with the utilization of services that involve a private component such as vision and dental care. For publicly insured services such as FP/GP visits, results vary by gender and by the measure of socioeconomic standing used for the analysis. For these services, results suggest that while socioeconomic standing is not significantly associated with visits to FP/GPs or overnight stays in hospitals for males, females who have a higher socioeconomic standing, have more ‘contact’ with their physician compared with females with a lower relative socioeconomic standing.
Using decadal data for 1961–2011, the paper explores the demographic dividend of major Indian states. Accordingly, we first explore Zipf’s law and thereafter, examine Gibrat’s law for the growth of state population. Based on these findings, we investigate the demographic dividend of state population. The results appear to suggest that the demographic dividend varies across states and these “dividends” are in fact, large in magnitude, especially for the laggard states.
This research focused on determining the sociocultural factors that build the social perception of the social roles of senior citizens in Chile in the 2002–2012 period. For this purpose, public opinion was studied in newspapers El Mercurio and La Cuarta. Specialized opinion included the Senior Citizen Program of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, the National Service for Senior Citizens, the Social Observatory for Aging and Old Age of Universidad de Chile, and the Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology of Chile. A comprehensive methodology was used, along with a bibliographical four-stage design. The following ten sociocultural factors were identified: Health and Quality of Life, Studies and Data, Social Images of Aging, Gerontological Concepts and Sociopolitical Participation, Gerontological Policies, Plans and Principles, Aging, Production and Gender, Institutionalization, Demographic Growth, Gerontological Training, and Exclusion and Old Age. This work suggests modifying the conceptual premise that emphasizes the inexistence of a social role for elderly people with a vision centered on the heterogeneity of social roles under permanent sociocultural construction.
This article presents an in-depth qualitative study using a phenomenological approach to understand loneliness among elderly individuals in Malaysia. The objective of the study was to understand how the Malaysian elderly perceive and understand social isolation as well as loneliness, with the aim of identifying the factors that cause emotional loneliness among the elderly in nursing homes. In addition, this study also explored their coping strategies when dealing with loneliness. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten elderly participants from two different nursing homes in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor with representatives from the three major ethnic groups of Malaysia. Based on the results, there are several factors that cause the elderly to feel lonely – health factors, lack of family ties, and the lack of communication and cognitive factors, such as memory and perception. It was also found that internal (expectations and optimism) and external (work and activities) coping strategies play major roles in overcoming loneliness. In conclusion, some recommendations are made to respective party families and the government to consider when developing plans to help the elderly overcome loneliness, which could strengthen the family and social support system in Malaysia.
In this paper, we use the concept of prospective age to illuminate patterns of aging by gender, and education in Europe. We find that, within countries, the patterns of aging of men and women with high education are comparatively similar to one another, but that the patterns of aging are quite dissimilar for men and women in the low education group. Across countries the patterns of aging become more similar as education levels increase. Thus, when we look across educational strata, we find increasing convergence in the pattern of aging both across countries and by gender within countries. The distinctive patterns of aging in the Eastern European countries are largely associated with the comparatively rapid aging of men in the low education category. If aging patterns by education persist, improvements in the education composition of Eastern European countries would result in the patterns of aging there becoming more similar to those in Western European countries.
It is clear that migration is a valid policy approach in the context of the ageing of the UK. There is general consensus that immigration to both the UK and Europe will in the short term achieve immediate increases in total fertility rates, population growth and labour market contribution. The evidence is that migrants contribute to public welfare such as pensions and health care but usually do not draw on them, at least immediately. It was predicted that prior to Brexit, Britain should expect 140,000 net immigrants a year for the next 50 years. In 2013 the Office for Budget Responsibility, calculated that increasing this to 300,000 annually would reduce UK government debt by almost a third while stopping immigration would increase the debt by almost 50 % (Office for Budget Responsibility 2013). However, as the 2016 Referendum has also shown, globalisation with its inevitable mass movement of peoples across the globe has significant economic and social impacts on local communities, often not taken seriously by national governments.
Studies investigating the impact of combining paid work and family life on wellbeing have generally used information at one or a limited number of points in the life course, and have mainly focused on women. This study uses multi-channel sequence analysis to characterise work-family life courses across adulthood (ages 16–60) for more than 1500 men and women in the MRC National Study of Health and Development. Wellbeing at age 60–64 was captured by the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well Being Scale (WEMWBS) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). A typology of 11 work-family groups was derived, across which there was greater variation for women. Adjusted for socioeconomic position, parental separation, adolescent internalising and externalising disorders, and health, men who had strong ties to paid work but no family had lower life satisfaction than those who combined work with parenthood and marriage (regression coefficient −2.89 (95 %CI: −5.04, −0.74); standard deviation for SWLS = 6.01). Women with weaker ties to paid work had lower life satisfaction, as did women who did not have children, compared to those who combined strong ties to paid work with marriage and parenthood. There were no significant associations between work-family life courses and WEMWBS or GHQ. This study shows that the way in which people combine work and family life may impact life satisfaction in early old age and highlights the need for policies that support combining work and family life.
In many countries like Australia and the United States, baby boomers are referred to as the ‘lucky cohort’, yet there has been little research on the origins and extent of inequalities within this cohort. This study uses path analysis to investigate direct and indirect effects of childhood and adult socioeconomic status and health on two subjective well-being measures: quality of life and life satisfaction. Retrospective life course data were obtained for 1,261 people aged 60 to 64 in the 2011–12 Life Histories and Health survey, a sub-study of the Australian 45 and Up Study. Supporting an accumulation model, the number of negative childhood and adult exposures were inversely related to both types of well-being. Consistent with a critical period model, childhood exposures had small but significant effects on subjective well-being and were relatively more important for quality of life than for life satisfaction. However, these childhood effects were largely indirect and significantly mediated by more proximal adult exposures, providing support for a pathway model. A key implication of this research is that the critical period for later life well-being is significant in adulthood rather than childhood, suggesting that there may be key opportunities for improving individuals’ later life well-being far beyond the early, formative years. This research highlights the importance of understanding how earlier life exposures impact experiences in later life, and investing in health and socioeconomic opportunities to reduce inequalities across all stages of life.
This paper deals with the relationship between family formation and employment in older cohorts of the English population born between 1916 and 1957. Based on retrospective life history data of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and using sequence and cluster analyses, we explore three dimensions in particular: employment, marital status, and having children, and the extent to which individuals’ life course trajectories on these three dimensions vary across cohorts, gender, and level of education. While the majority of men followed a trajectory of marriage and family formation with a (relatively) continuous career, the family-work trajectories of women varied noticeably from one cohort to the next, including increased labour market participation combined with fewer and shorter breaks from work to care for children. While the current perception is that the so-called ‘baby boomer’ generation born soon after World War Two was path-breaking in terms of life course innovations, our findings are not compatible with the assumption of a single cohort being particularly pioneering.