Issues of Aging Psychology Book Report

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Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders

Main Points:

Aging is one of the most important social, political, and economic issues in America at the moment.

People are living longer, but they are not necessarily living better.

It is important to have new models of aging that bring families together rather than condone or enable isolation and alienation.

There are cultural differences in attitudes toward the elderly.

Generation gaps also reveal points of divergence and reveal fractures in inter-generational communication.

Structure: Book is divided into three main parts comprising ten chapters, plus a prelude, an introduction, and a conclusion.

Part I. "Landscape of Age"

Chapter 1. "Another Country"

The author uses visiting another country as a metaphor for aging.

Example: When we try to communicate with someone from another country, there are cultural and language barriers. It is the same way when we speak to someone of another age group. We are used to being respectful of other cultures and their differences; why not be respectful of other age groups and their differences, too?

Establishes the rising costs of health care and elder care

Less contact with elderly people in daily life is causing "ignorance," the author states (p. 17).

Age grouping at all stages in life is exacerbating the problem and causing "social sickness" (p.

Chapter 2. "Xenophobia"

Prejudices and stereotypes about old people are problematic

Youth-obsession is problematic

Chapter 3. "Time Zones"

Concepts of community are changing.

Chapter 4. "The Great Divide: Psychology."

The study of psychology is relatively new but can inform healthy aging approaches.

Part II. "Discovering New Lands"

Chapter 5. "Traveling Together: The Things We Carry"

Role reversals between parents and children occur as the parents age, and this can be extremely difficult for all involved.

Example: The parent once took care of the child by providing food, shelter, clothing. Now the child provides for the parent by providing food, shelter, clothing.

Hard to find balance….....

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