Aging in the United Kingdom and Europe - A snapshot of the future?

Carpenter, G. Iain (2005) Aging in the United Kingdom and Europe - A snapshot of the future? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53 (9). S310-S313. ISSN 0002-8614. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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The implications for society of increasing life span to 120 years can only be guessed, but comparing the diversity of responses to aging in different countries may give insights into the possible effect. A European Union–funded study of the recipients of community care services in 11 European countries illustrates how such studies can help identify some of the issues. The study, made possible by the availability of a multidimensional standardized assessment for community care, illustrates how diversity of social and political history and culture results in widely different patterns of dependency in those cared for at home, different levels of formal care, and informal caregiver burden. There is wide variation in living arrangements, marital status, and dependency between countries. The average age of recipients of community care is approximately 82, regardless of the average age of the national population. In Italy, which has the oldest population in Europe, dependency in people supported at home in extended families is high, with little formal care and significant levels of informal caregiver burden. In contrast the Nordic countries have lower levels of dependency and greater proportions of people with no informal caregiver. In Germany, informal caregiver burden may be related to the regulatory mechanisms rather than dependency and levels of formal care. With a life expectancy of 120, it will be these 80-year-olds who will be caring for their parents. Although humankind is resourceful, it will require a unified approach to aging to overcome the challenging diversity in our societies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: increasing life span, elderly health care,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Helen Wooldridge
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2008 18:55
Last Modified: 14 May 2014 08:41
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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