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Journal article

International policy perspectives on independence in old age

Author:
PLATH Debbie
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 21(2), April 2009, pp.209-223.
Publisher:
Routledge
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Although the promotion of independence is a common feature of policies on older people across the world, independence has a variety of meanings that are shaped by different social, political and economic contexts and by different values and attitudes towards older people. This study compares policies in Australia, Denmark, India and the UK. In Australia and the UK, liberal democratic values translate into support for individual independence in old age. In Denmark, a strong emphasis on social responsibility and the right to public services means that choice, rather than independence, for older people is the prime focus. In India, independence is of less significance in the context of economic constraints and strong social values supporting family responsibility for the care of older people. This analysis raises important questions about the promotion of independence as a goal in the aging policies of international bodies such as the UN and WHO.

Journal article

The influence of social relations on mortality in later life: a study on elderly Danish twins

Authors:
RASULO Domenica, CHRISTENSEN Kaare, TOMASSINI Cecilia
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 45(5), October 2005, pp.601-608.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

The authors examined whether the presence of a spouse and the frequency of interaction with children, relatives, and friends significantly influence the risk of dying in late life. They assessed these effects separately by gender, controlling for self-reported health. In addition, whether interaction with the co-twin has a different impact on mortality for identical and fraternal twins was examined. The data set consists of 2,147 Danish twins aged 75 years and older, who were followed prospectively from 1995 to 2001. The results found that survival is extended by having a spouse and close ties with friends and the co-twin. However, contact frequency with friends and the co-twin is significant, respectively, only for women and identical twins. The results stress the importance of social relations beyond the presence of the spouse for survival even at very old ages.

Book

Empowering older people: an international approach

Editors:
THURSZ Daniel, NUSBERG Charlotte, PRATHER Johnnie
Publisher:
Cassell
Publication year:
1995
Pagination:
233p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
London

Presents papers from experts from 17 countries on empowering older people as individuals, through organisations, and in developing countries.

Journal article

Best of Danish

Author:
LINEHAN T.
Journal article citation:
Care Weekly, 6.8.92, 1992, p.12.

Describes a sheltered home complex in Denmark.

Journal article

Ideals lost? Current trends in Scandinavian welfare policies on ageing

Author:
DAATLAND Svein Olav
Journal article citation:
Journal of European Social Policy, 2(1), 1992, pp.33-47.
Publisher:
Sage

Considers the extent to which the traditional ideals underlying the Scandinavian welfare state - solidaristic and egalitarian - are under threat in the light of signs of less state ambition, and public criticisms about the amount of public expenditure.

Book

Contrasting European policies for the care of the elderly

Editors:
JAMIESON Anne, ILLSLEY Raymond
Publisher:
Avebury
Publication year:
1990
Pagination:
199p., tables, bibliogs.
Place of publication:
London

Looks at Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. Part 1 examines the relationship between formal and informal care, Part 2 deals with care systems and care delivery problems. Includes chapter by Ian Sinclair, Peter Gorbach, Enid Levin and Jenny Williams: 'Community care and residential admissions: results from two empirical studies'.

Journal article

The fragmented welfare state: explaining local variations in services for older people

Authors:
JENSEN Per H., LOLLE Henrik
Journal article citation:
Journal of Social Policy, 42(2), 2013, pp.349-370.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Place of publication:
Cambridge

Much research focusing on the welfare state is based on the assumption that welfare regimes are homogenous entities. This idea is supported by studies analysing cash benefits. In the area of welfare services, however, local governments in most countries have some autonomy regarding policy formation as well as the design and implementation of policies. In practice, substantial local differences exist with regard to the provision of welfare services, which in turn challenge our conception of nation-wide homogenous welfare state regimes. This paper examines the factors causing marked differences in local government spending in the provision of care for older people in Denmark. The conclusion is that the wealth of the municipality, local demographics and privatisation can explain about 48 per cent of the differences in local government spending. Political factors such as the ‘colour’ of local government have no explanatory power, while a high percentage of women in municipal councils appears to have a slightly negative effect on spending. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Over- and under-diagnosis of dementia in ethnic minorities: a nationwide register-based study

Authors:
NIELSEN T. R., et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(11), November 2011, pp.1128-1135.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Professionals in several European countries have suggested that dementia is under-diagnosed and under-treated to a greater extent among ethnic minorities than the native population. This study compared the prevalence of register-based dementia diagnoses in the largest ethnic minority groups in Denmark with the prevalence of register-based dementia diagnoses in the general Danish population. Linking the Danish hospital registers with the Danish Civil Registration System, made it possible to identify dementia cases for three main ethnic minorities (ex-Yugoslavia, Turkey and Pakistan). Age- and gender-specific prevalence rates were calculated. The study population consisted of 68219 persons aged 20 and older. A total of 174 dementia cases were identified, with a mean age at diagnosis of 57.7 years. Compared to the general population, there was a higher prevalence of dementia among those below 60 years, and a markedly lower prevalence among those 60 years and older. The authors conclude that dementia is, as hypothesised, under-diagnosed to a greater extent among ethnic minorities in the age group 60 years and older but note that it is over-diagnosed in younger age group. They suggest factors that may contribute to this pattern, including cultural differences in help-seeking behaviour, and problems in navigating the health-care system. It is also noted that cross-cultural assessment of dementia can be difficult because of language barriers and cultural differences.

Journal article

The vulnerable elderly's need for recognizing relationships – a challenge to Danish home-based care

Author:
LIVENG Anne
Journal article citation:
Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community, 25(3), September 2011, pp.271-283.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This article explores the most vulnerable elderly with complex problems receiving home-based care. Their perspective is examined from several qualitative interviews and observations. The interviews suggested that they often live on the edge of accepted standards for living, but want to live as they always have – to be respected as competent human beings and be identified through the life they have lived. To establish a relationship in which an elderly person can be recognised in an existential sense could indeed be the key to establishing contact. The author suggests that in order to develop this approach, staff have to possess certain competencies, and there needs to be some organisational backup for developing this type of relationship. Home-based care in Denmark is founded on new public management (NPM) theory, although rules and regulations implied in NPM do not always provide home helpers with the time, support, autonomy or flexibility necessary for them to establish a recognising type of relationship. The author questions whether the application of NPM in the welfare state increases exclusion for those who are most dependent on public support.

Journal article

PTSD in older bereaved people

Author:
O'CONNOR Maja
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 14(6), August 2010, pp.670-678.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

The prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in recently bereaved older people and whether the loss of a spouse in old age can lead to PTSD was investigated. 276 bereaved older people (mean age 73 years) from the county of Aarhus in Denmark, contacted two months after bereavement, agreed to participate. The results from this group were compared with a control group of 276 married older people. Prevalence of PTSD and depression was measured through a self-report questionnaire. The results indicated that older bereaved people in the sample were four times more likely to have PTSD than those who were still married. The author concludes that this demonstrates that late life bereavement is a traumatic experience for some, and discusses the results and their implications.

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