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Journal article

Between social networks and formal social services

Authors:
LITWIN Howard, AUSLANDER Gail K.
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 8(3), September 1988, pp.269-285.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Reports a study of the social networks of recent applications to the social welfare bureaux of Jerusalem. Beyond review of the relevant study variables as reflected in the literature, and an overview of Israeli social services for the aged, addresses why the social networks of the elderly claimants turned to formal assistance.

Journal article

Ageism and social integration of older ddults in their neighborhoods in Israel

Authors:
VITMAN Adi, IECOVICH Esther, ALFASI Nurit
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 54(2), 2014, pp.177-189.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

Purpose: The article aims to examine the extent to which ageism is connected with the social integration of older adults in their neighbourhoods and to identify factors that explain social integration. Design and Methods: A convenience sample that included 300 older adults aged 65 and older and 300 younger people under the age of 65 who resided in 3 neighbourhoods in Tel-Aviv with varied socioeconomic status were interviewed. Kogan’s Attitudes toward Old People scale was used to probe ageism. Social integration index included 3 dimensions: frequency of participation in activities in the neighbourhood, familiarity with neighbours, and sense of neighbourhood. Hierarchical regression analyses examined 3 groups of independent variables: older adults’ sociodemographic characteristics, their perceived health and outdoor mobility, and neighbourhoods’ characteristics including level of ageism. Results: Neighbourhoods varied by levels of ageism and social integration. Higher level of social integration of older neighbourhoods’ residents was explained by a combination of factors: younger age, better self-rated health, and fewer limitations of outdoor mobility, lower levels of ageism reported by a sample of younger respondents, and higher socioeconomic status of the neighbourhood. Implications: To enable better social integration, intergeneration programmes should be developed to decrease ageism, and in order to make communities more age-friendly, there is need to facilitate accessibility to services and public spaces. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Gerontological autism: terms of accountability in the cultural study of the category of the Fourth Age

Author:
HAZAN Haim
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 31(7), October 2011, pp.1125-1140.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

This article aims to pose an intellectual challenge to both students and researchers of old age. It suggests that older people are a testimony to the failure to generate a language by which to comprehend cultural phenomena, which has the effect of nullifying any meaningful discourse between researchers and older subjects. The arguments are based on an analysis of the unique position of the very old as an ‘unconstructable other’, as they appear in the relevant discourse relating to older people. The article suggests that cultural standing of that category is set in a symbolic and existential space that prevents communication with its inhabitants. The social processes that lead to this state of absent translation and a deadlock of interpretation are analysed by using examples a longitudinal study of the very old in Israel. In ending, an alternative way of understanding the ageing population is proposed.

Journal article

Forgiveness in late life

Authors:
HANTMAN Shira, COHEN Orna
Journal article citation:
Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 53(7), October 2010, pp.613-630.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Using a sample of 225 older adults in Israel, this study examined the association between stressful life events and perceived meaning in life and forgiveness in late life. Participants aged 60 years or older were individually interviewed, and information was gathered using the Enright Forgiveness Inventory, the Reker Meaning in Life Scale, and a questionnaire on demographic and other background information including traumatic life events. The results supported the researchers' assumption that meaning in life correlates with forgiveness on all its dimensions. The results also indicated that the older the respondents and the longer the time elapsed from the event, the less likely they are to forgive, that women tend to forgive more than men, and that there is a tendency to forgive family members more readily than non-family members and people who are still alive more readily than those who have died.

Journal article

The inter-relationship between formal and informal care: a study in France and Israel

Authors:
LITWIN Howard, ATTIAS-DONFUT Claudine
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 29(1), January 2009, pp.71-91.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

This study examined whether formal care services delivered to frail older people's homes in France and Israel substitute for or complement informal support. The two countries have comparable family welfare systems but many historical, cultural and religious differences. Data for the respondents aged 75 or more years at the first wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) were analysed. Regressions were examined of three patterns of care from outside the household: informal support only, formal support only and both formal and informal care, with the predictor variables including whether informal help was provided by a family member living in the household. The results revealed that about one-half of the respondents received no help at all (France 51%, Israel 55%), about one-tenth received care from a household member (France 8%, Israel 10%), and one-third were helped by informal carers from outside the household (France 34%, Israel 33%). More French respondents (35%) received formal care services at home than Israelis (27%). Most predictors of the care patterns were similar in the two countries. The analysis showed that complementarity is a common outcome of the co-existence of formal and informal care, and that mixed provision occurs more frequently in situations of greater need. It is also shown that spouse care-givers had less formal home-care supports than either co-resident children or other family care-givers. Even so, spouses, children and other family care-givers all had considerable support from formal home-delivered care.

Journal article

Times of transition: elder abuse and neglect in Israel

Authors:
LOWENSTEIN Ariela, DORON Israel
Journal article citation:
Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 20(2), 2008, pp.181-206.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Israel, like other advanced countries, is ageing but there was no real awareness of elder abuse as a problem until the late 1980s when a joint US-Israeli conference took place in Israel. Research studies followed, but many have been small scale and although more systematic surveys have been conducted in recent years, comprehensive empirical data are still lacking. Intervention developments, largely driven by Eshel (the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel) and by relevant ministries, are outlined and legal developments summarised. Future challenges include the need for more research, better multi-disciplinary coordination between agencies with a role in responding to elder abuse, changes to remove paternalism from the legislative framework, the involvement of older people themselves in the debate on abuse, and the provision of proper resources for elder abuse initiatives. (Copies of this article are available from: Haworth Document Delivery Centre, Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street,  Binghamton, NY 13904-1580).

Journal article

Does early retirement lead to longer life?

Author:
LITWIN Howard
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 27(5), September 2007, pp.739-754.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

It has been claimed, but not empirically supported, that early retirement leads to longer life. The present investigation addressed this question using data from a 1997 Israeli national household survey of adults aged 60 or more years linked to mortality records from the national death registry, for 2004. The study examined the association between early retirement and seven-year all-cause mortality among the population of older Jewish Israelis who were employed prior to or at baseline (N=2,374). Both the timing of retirement and the reasons for exit from the labour force were considered in the analysis. The initial hazard regression models, adjusted by gender and reason for retirement including poor health, showed that early retirees indeed had lower mortality risk ratios than respondents who had retired ‘on time’. When additional variables were controlled in the final analytic model, however, the association between early retirement and mortality was not supported. Older age, male gender, and having been diagnosed with one or more of five major illnesses were all associated with greater risk for mortality. Medium level education and being employed at baseline were associated with lesser mortality risk. Nevertheless, the timing of retirement, viz. early versus normative exit from the workforce, was not related to survival. In sum, the respondents who had prematurely exited the labour force did not benefit from disproportionately longer lives when compared with the respondents who retired ‘on time’.

Journal article

Elderly people's attitudes and perceptions of aging and old age: the role of cognitive dissonance?

Author:
RON Pnina
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22(7), July 2007, pp.656-662.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The aim of the research was to examine if and, how the attitudes and perceptions were changing during the aging process. The research sample included three hundred and eighty-eight elderly people between the ages of 65-92 who were sampled for the purpose of analyzing and comparing their attitudes and perceptions of old age and aging, in the present, to their attitudes and perceptions of these two concepts in the past. The research tool was composed of two parts: (A) a short demographic questionnaire which examined the following variables: gender, age, origin, family status and subjective health definition. (B) the second part was essentially qualitative in which subjects were asked via an interviewer to reply to an identical question relating to two different periods in their lives: in their youth (when you were a young man/woman) and today. The data received from the questionnaires was processed in two main methods: quantitatively - statistically and qualitatively - content analysis. The subjects' attitudes were categorized into six different typologies which were identified on a continuum: elderly people whose attitude towards old age and aging was negative both in the present and in the past were positioned at one end of the continuum. Subjects with a positive attitude towards old age, both in their youth and in the present were positioned at the opposite end of the continuum. Negative attitudes were more prominently described by powerful adjectives than positive attitudes were described by the subjects. For instance: Fear, Disgust. In the description of the positive attitude only one powerful adjective was used Splendor and Glory. A significant correlation was found between subjects whose attitudes towards old age in the present were negative and those who subjectively defined their health as bad.

Journal article

Living arrangements, family solidarity and life satisfaction of two generations of immigrants in Israel

Authors:
LOWENSTEIN Ariela, KATZ Ruth
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 25(5), September 2005, pp.749-767.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

This paper reports a study of the relationships between shared and separate living arrangements and the life satisfaction of two generations of migrants from the former Soviet Union to Israel, adult children (the younger generation) and their elderly parents. An attempt was made to identify the social, familial and personal factors that affect life satisfaction, and special attention was devoted to inter-generational family solidarity and to informal and formal social support. Data were collected from a stratified random sample of 425 respondents -  248 in the older generation and 177 in the younger. The results show that for both generations, contrary to expectations, life satisfaction was higher when the two generations lived in separate rather than shared households. Affectual solidarity was positively associated with life satisfaction for both generations, but functional solidarity for the older generation only. Among the older generation, the subjective evaluation of health contributed most to the explained variance; while among the younger, standard of living and employment contributed most. For both generations, family solidarity and social support had little impact. The findings are discussed in relation to the structural and economic factors that influence co-residence and which differentially affect the two generations.

Journal article

Creating an intergenerational learning community for the study of elder abuse

Author:
NEIKRUG Shimshon
Journal article citation:
Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 16(2), 2004, pp.33-49.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Reports the results of an educational experience in teaching the topic of elder abuse in an undergraduate social work department in a college in Israel. The goal of the experience described in this report was to create an intergenerational, learning community in the classroom by bringing in older persons as co-teachers, experts on their experience, and co-learners to improve the study of gerontology. (Copies of this article are available from: Haworth Document Delivery Centre, Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street,  Binghamton, NY 13904-1580).

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