This book provides a multidisciplinary compendium of research pertaining to aging among diverse racial and ethnic populations in the United States. It focuses on paramount public health, social, behavioral, and biological concerns as they relate to the needs of older minorities. The book is divided into four parts covering psychology, public health/biology, social work, and sociology of minority gang. The book focuses on the needs of four major race and ethnic groups: Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, black/African American, and Native American. It also includes both inter- and intra-race and ethnic group research for insights regarding minority aging. The chapters focus on an array of subject areas that are recognized as being critical to understanding the well-being of minority elders. These include psychology (cognition, stress, mental health, personality, sexuality, religion, neuroscience, discrimination); medicine/nursing/public health (mortality and morbidity, disability, health disparities, long-term care, genetics, nutritional status, health interventions, physical functioning); social work (aging, caregiving, housing, social services, end-of-life care); and sociology (Medicare, socioeconomic status (SES), work and retirement, social networks, context/neighborhood, ethnography, gender, demographics).
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The issues evoked by an aging world pose new challenges with regard to employment, health, retirement, families, and the economy. Societies respond to these challenges in varying ways and these responses can be subsumed under the rubric of social policies. Human rights apply to everyone; they do not diminish with age. This book discusses many of the key issues and concerns confronting older adults in the United States and the policies formulated to deal with them. The ways in which these policies reflect human rights is key in each chapter. The first chapter presents the background on social policy and human rights and how they pertain to and impact older adults. The second chapter focuses on the Older Americans Act (OAA), the foundation of aging policy in the United States, as well as on the federal government involvement by discussing the White Housing conferences on aging. While the third chapter addresses economic supports for older adults, the fourth chapter examines policies associated with liberty and security. The fifth and sixth chapters discuss physical and mental health, and focus on employment and the workplace. This is followed by a discussion on the social policy and the family and by examining how policy relates to vulnerable populations of older adults. The penultimate chapter of the book explores the ways in which various countries are developing policies for their older population and how these reflect human rights. The last chapter looks at the future policy challenges that must be met in order to ensure that rights of older adults are addressed.
This second edition of the book, like the first, provides an overview of major issues associated with societal and global aging, paralleling the structure of many introductory social gerontology textbooks. Unlike most existing textbooks in the field, however, the discussion of each topic in this work is explicitly comparative, focusing on similarities and variations in the aging experience across nations, religions, and levels of economic and social development. The comparative perspective is enhanced further by topical essays and country-specific descriptions of aging policies, programs, and experiences. The book also introduces in this edition several important innovations not found in the previous version. First, the authors have dropped two chapters (The Welfare State and Disability and Active Life Expectancy), incorporating their content elsewhere. In addition, they split three earlier chapters (Health and Health Care Systems; Work and Retirement; and Families, Caregiving, and Community Support Systems) into two new chapters each, so now the authors include six separate chapters: Health Beliefs and Behavior, Health Care, Older Workers, Retirement and Pensions, Family Life, and Caregiving. Finally, because the first edition neglected two topics crucial to the lives of older people—physical environments and religion—the authors have added an entirely new chapter devoted to each. As for the first edition, the intended audiences remain students in undergraduate and graduate courses in global aging and their faculty. In addition, many of the topics addressed will also be of interest to faculty and students in undergraduate and graduate courses in the demography of aging and sociology of aging, as well as courses in gerontology taught with a comparative, international focus. The authors hope that it will serve to focus the attention of all gerontologists on the growth and value of the research and teaching going on in countries outside the United States and Europe.