A Long Time Coming

A Long Time Coming

Essays on Old Age

Book - 2016
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"To live a long life should be a joy; to be old should not be a burden. With improved health care and higher standards of living, each generation is living longer than the last. Governments see our ageing population as an imminent disaster, and old age as a medical problem. We are encouraged to remain active, stay healthy, and work longer - in short, to refuse becoming old. But if living longer is really about staying young, do we risk turning a blind eye to issues facing the elderly? Weaving interviews with research and memoir, Joosten undertakes a timely and clear-sighted investigation into the housing crisis as it affects older people, the politics of nursing-home care, the difficulties of dementia, support services for Indigenous Australians, and how the burden of caring for others can fall disproportionately on women. Moving, passionate, and urgent, A Long Time Coming is a call for empathy in a society that valorises youth and self-reliance - a profound reminder that everyone has the right to be old."
Publisher: Brunswick, Victoria, Scribe Publications,, 2016.
ISBN: 9781925321371
Characteristics: xiii, 232 pages ; 21 cm.

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wendybradley
Sep 22, 2016

This collection of essays on an aging population raises some interesting and important points. From discussing how an age care facility works on Tiwi Island, where residents can still participate in the life around them, to relating the author's own experience being a community visitor to an older woman in her local community, we share emotion with the author, not just descriptions of what she experienced. This is beautifully written.

The Right to be Old is the second essay and to me the one that had most to say to me on a personal level. If I can quote two sentences "While well-meaning, the positive-aging agenda is partly borne of this terror of debility and dependence. It posits that a persons best self is their young self - before the onset of any age-related concerns - and sees old age as a corruption of the natural way of things rather than a continuation".

This is important writing. Important ideas.

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