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Private lives and public programs: an Australian longitudinal study of the elderly

McCallum, John and Simons, Leon A and Simons, Judith (2007) Private lives and public programs: an Australian longitudinal study of the elderly. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 19 (4). pp. 87-103. ISSN 0895-9420

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Abstract

Major late life events, reported in the Dubbo longitudinal study of older Australians, are used to examine the interaction of private lives with public programs. First, the data indicate strong supportive effects of publicly funded income, health, and aged care programs in reducing family burdens from major life changes. In particular, financial crises were rarely mentioned, directly or indirectly, as major threats. Next, the central role of informal social support in these events is demonstrated, first, as in previous studies, family support was responsive to risky events and to aging itself. Also, in new findings, one-third of surviving elderly respondents coped with the burdens of family crises as a substantial proportion of the "major" life changes that occurred over 13 years of the study. Within the security and support provided by the Australian welfare system, and with strong social networks, families with older persons in the Dubbo study manage multiple, major life changes. With rapid population aging, the development of more, and more easily accessible, services for a growing population of older people is a priority. The critical challenge will be to harmoniously grow public financing, private funding, and informal caregiving to deal with the growing burden arising from an aging society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID16814, Australian elderly, population aging, Australian welfare system, Dubbo longitudinal study
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Other
FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
SEO Classification > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health)
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Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 10 May 2012 04:26
Last Modified: 10 May 2012 04:26
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/3346
DOI: 10.1300/J031v19n04_05
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Citations in Scopus: 2 - View on Scopus

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