Continuity and change in the family and community life of older people



Bernard M, Phillipson C, Phillips J & Ogg J (2001) Continuity and change in the family and community life of older people. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 20 (3), pp. 259-278.

The research reported here examines the family and community networks of elderly people living in three urban areas of England: Bethnal Green (an inner-city area of London), Wolverhampton (a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands), and Woodford (a northeastern suburb of London). These were the locations for landmark community-based studies in the 1940s and 1950s. The present study shows that although most older people still have kinship-based networks, the ways in which kinship is experienced—especially concerning the interchange of care and support—are different. Relationships between the generations have altered, with support more often being located within a framework of equality and mutual reciprocity. Predictably, too, retirement is now more common, with leisure activities being much more central to the lives of older people. The study raises questions about how policy and practice now need to respond to what is a much more complex and dynamic experience of the family and community lives of older people.

Journal of Applied Gerontology: Volume 20, Issue 3

Publication date30/09/2001
Date accepted by journal14/01/2000

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