Cover: Getting Wise about Getting Old: Debunking Myths about Aging, edited by Veronique Billette, Patrik Marier, and Anne-Marie Seguin. charcoal sketch: an owl, set against a yellow background.
302 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Oct 2020
Release Date:01 Oct 2020
Release Date:01 Oct 2020

Getting Wise about Getting Old

Debunking Myths about Aging

UBC Press, Purich Books

A grey tsunami is sweeping the land, wreaking social and financial havoc in its wake. Sound familiar? This myth about aging, along with twenty-eight others, is the focus of Getting Wise about Getting Old, which paints a far more accurate and nuanced portrait of old age. In it, experts debunk myths and persistent stereotypes about aging on a broad array of social issues – from retirement (seniors are low-performance workers) to housing (most older adults live in long-term care accommodation), and violence (senior women are not victims of sexual assault) to political participation (seniors are conservative and resistant to change) – deconstructing and countering them with the latest findings. The work of two leading research groups in Quebec, the short and accessible chapters of this vitally important book contribute to a better understanding of the social challenges, as well as the advantages, of an aging society.

This book will be of interest to a wide audience, including seniors and readers interested in aging; students, teachers, and researchers; public policy makers; and politicians.

A thoughtful collection calling attention to what is said (and unsaid) about older people, the places they live, and the roles they occupy. Each chapter unearths existing assumptions, raises questions for debate, and presents new possibilities for reflection and social change. Amanda Grenier, Norman and Honey Schipper Chair in Gerontological Social Work, University of Toronto and Baycrest Hospital

Véronique Billette is the coordinator of the VIES research team (Vieillissements, exclusions sociales et solidarités / aging, social exclusion and solidarity), a group of researchers working on social issues of aging. She is a co-editor of Vieillir au pluriel: Perspectives sociales – the first reference book in French on social gerontology. She has many years of experience working in the intervention and prevention of violence against women and in mental health.

Patrik Marier is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University, where he is the chair of Research on Aging and Public Policy and the lead researcher of Équipe VIES. He is the scientific director of the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology (CREGÉS) at the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre (CIUSSS). He is well known for his work on social policy, public administration, and retirement.

Anne-Marie Séguin is a professor at the Centre Urbanisation Culture Société of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique and was formerly the lead researcher of Équipe VIES. She is renowned for her work in environmental justice, poverty, socio-spatial aspects of aging, and urban social policies.

Foreword to the English Edition / Laura Tamblyn Watts

Foreword to the French Edition / Danis Prud’homme, Caroline Bouchard, Marco Guerrera, and Sophie Gagnon

Introduction: Multiple Perspectives on Diverse Aging Experiences / Anne-Marie Séguin, Véronique Billette, and Patrik Marier

Part 1: Portrayals and Realities of Aging

1 Myths and Realities about Seniors / Ignace Olazabal and Julien Simard

2 Living on Easy Street? The Myth of the Affluent Senior / Patrik Marier, Yves Carrière, and Jonathan Purenne

3 Older Adults: Allergic to Social Change? / Julien Simard and Ignace Olazabal

4 “That’s Surprising, at Your Age!” The Myth of Digital Disinterest / Kim Sawchuk, Line Grenier, and Constance Lafontaine

5 Grey-Haired Neurons: Does an Accurate Memory Have to Become a Memento of Younger Days? / Maxime Lussier, Manon Parisien, Nathalie Bier, and Sophie Laforest

Part 2: Living Environments

6 Do Most Very Old Quebecers Live in Residential Long-Term Care Centres? / Anne-Marie Séguin, Isabelle Van Pevenage, and Chloé Dauphinais

7 Age-Friendly Cities: A Panacea for Aging in Place? / Meghan Joy, Patrik Marier, and Anne-Marie Séguin

8 Seniors and Their Cars: Choice or Necessity? / Paula Negron-Poblete and Anne-Marie Séguin

9 Challenging the Myth of Older Homelessness as Chronic Homelessness / Victoria Burns

10 Are Penitentiaries Suitable Places for Older Inmates? / Michel Gagnon and Michel Dunn

Part 3: Different Aging Experiences

11 Older Adults Living with Mental Health Problems: “Nothing More Can Be Done with Them” / Ginette Aubin and Bernadette Dallaire

12 Aging with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: The Myth of the Eternal Child / Daniel Dickson

13 Older Adults Are Not Affected by HIV/AIDS: The Origins and Consequences of a Misconception / Isabelle Wallach

14 Aging, Sexuality, and the “Cougar” Myth / Milaine Alarie

15 Sexual Assault of Older Women: An Unthinkable Reality / Mélanie Couture, Milaine Alarie, Sarita Israel, and Marie-Pier Petit

16 Are Older Adults Safe from Conjugal Violence? / Sarita Israel, Mélanie Couture, and Marie-Pier Petit

Part 4: Social Roles

17 Living Longer: Years of Retirement or Years of Work? / Yves Carrière, Patrik Marier, Jonathan Purenne, and Diane Galarneau

18 Older Workers: A Societal Problem? / Marie-Michèle Lord and Pierre-Yves Therriault

19 Do Older Adults Have All the Time in the World? / Isabel Wiebe, Anne-Marie Séguin, Philippe Apparicio, and Véronique Billette

20 Can One Enjoy a Happy Retirement without Volunteering? / Julie Castonguay, Julie Fortier, Andrée Sévigny, Hélène Carbonneau, and Marie Beaulieu

21 The Social Participation of Older People: Get on Board, as They Used to Say! / Émilie Raymond, Julie Castonguay, Mireille Fortier, and Andrée Sévigny

Part 5: Death and Bereavement

22 How Older Adults Experience Bereavement: Does Greater Frequency Make Death Easier to Bear? / Valérie Bourgeois-Guérin, Isabelle Van Pevenage, Jeanne Lachance, Rock-André Blondin, and Antonin Marquis

23 Palliative Care for Those Dying of “Old Age”: Unmet Needs / Isabelle Van Pevenage, Patrick Durivage, Véronique Billette, Patricia Friesen, and Eleonora Bogdanova

24 Do Older Adults Wish to Die at Home (and Can They)? / Isabelle Van Pevenage, Patrick Durivage, Anne-Marie Séguin, and Laurence Hamel-Roy

Part 6: Caregiver Support

25 Are Families Abandoning Older Relatives? / Isabelle Van Pevenage, Zelda Freitas, Patrik Marier, and Pam Orzeck

26 Multiple Autonomies: Navigating the World of Home Care Services / Norma Gilbert, Annette Leibing, and Patrik Marier

27 LGBT Older Adults: Who Is There to Support Them and Care for Them as They Age? / Julie Beauchamp, Shari Brotman, Line Chamberland, and Ilyan Ferrer

28 Care Provision to Older Immigrants by Their Families: When Discrimination Creates Barriers to Services / Ilyan Ferrer and Shari Brotman

Conclusion: Public Policy Issues and the Complexities of Aging / Patrik Marier, Anne-Marie Séguin, and Véronique Billette

Contributors; Index

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