Beyond Sixty-Five: The Dilemma of Old Age in America's Past by Carole Haber

By Carole Haber

This e-book investigates the altering roles and perceptions of outdated age in nineteenth-century the United States. It exhibits how the commercial and social transformation of the state affected the of the elderly, because it altered ideals approximately their talents and wishes. concentrating on the guidelines of medical professionals, charity staff, and social planners, it strains the method wherein their view of senescence used to be included into geriatric drugs, the improvement of the nation's first old-age houses and crucial retirement plans. With the adoption of those programmes, outdated age got here to be noticeable as a common social challenge. by means of the early 20th century, it had develop into characterised as a time of dependence and ailment - an angle which keeps to persuade the way in which that smooth americans understand and deal with the aged.

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For a significant percentage of the aged, urban and industrial growth led to diminished control over family, wealth, and possessions. Without such traditional props, these old individuals lost their independence and power. At the same time, the elderly poor found themselves under the care and scrutiny of newly professionalized charity workers and social scientists whose perception of old age was undergoing a marked transition. These experts came to reject the notion that the 28 Social Realities and Perceptions of Old Age elderly were similar to other needy groups.

He could no longer hope to compete physically at the rate set by a young person. In sum, the brilliant as well as the mediocre were mere shadows of what they had been during the prime of existence. Moreover, in this advanced state, an individual's death was never far distant. Most persons, of course, had already succumbed; only a small minority even survived to senescence. And after seventy, all hope of additional decades of life had to be forsaken. 50 Quetelet's treatise was only one of many that studied individual abilities in correlation with age.

3 Source: Michael B. : Harvard University Press, 1975), p. 161. Reprinted by permission. majority of the elderly filled professions and trades rapidly declining in wealth and prestige. 14 Other professions of declining status also employed a large proportion of the old. 16 Again, it was in the city that the elderly faced the greatest decline in occupational rank. For individuals entering old age in America's urban areas, job opportunities seemed to diminish rapidly. 17 This situation occurred in Canada as well.

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