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Social class in later lifePower, identity and lifestyle$
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Marvin Formosa and Paul Higgs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300588

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300588.001.0001

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Class, care and caring

Class, care and caring

(p.133) Eight Class, care and caring
Social class in later life

Christina Victor

Policy Press

Older people experience a range of age-related conditions such as arthritis, respiratory disease, circulatory disease, and mental health problems such as depression and dementia. The prevalence of such conditions increases with age as does multiple pathology. One consequence of this age-related increase in morbidity is that older peoples’ ability to remain living independently in the community may be compromised as they experience difficulties with essential activities of daily living. Informal or family care is fundamental to any community care policy for older people and the contribution of the family generally in providing care is well established both qualitatively and quantitatively. Approximately, 12% of adults self-define themselves as ‘informal carers’, whilst 56% of adults expect their family to provide care and support in old age. This chapter examines how health care needs are differentially distributed within the older population and the importance of class (and gender and ethnicity) in the distribution of both longevity and morbidity. Consequently, it examines how the typology of caring about, taking care, care giving and care receiving extends our understanding of the formal and informal care sectors and how these dimensions of caring are linked to the key socio-structural factors of class, gender and ethnicity.

Keywords:   health care needs, informal care, differentials in access to care

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