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Updated by Jody Day on Jun 02, 2018
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GW: Ageing Without Children

Jenni Diski on Ageing (a review of Lynne Segal "Out of Time"

One of the problems of ageing is knowing when to start complaining about being old. I received an email not long ago from a woman who had read something of mine in which I described myself, at 66, as old. She said she worked with elderly people and her 85-year-olds call people my age .

Betrayal: Memoirs of a Parent’s Death by Nancy Miller

Call it the Zeitgeist, call it the return of the repressed, but personal memoir, intellectual autobiography, or the mixture of literary and confessional writing defined by Nancy Miller as 'narrative criticism' is changing the tradition of feminist academic writing. In books such as . . .

Anita Brookner's novels

Brookner’s subject is the isolation of the self, unsupported by family affection, the gratifications of art or work, the fulfilment of romantic love, or the promise of religion. Above all, she insists that her readers consider the daunting consequences of age. ‘What courage it must take to grow old!’ Zoë reflects. It is an observation that reverberates through the novels. Immune to the seductions of fashion, Brookner’s preoccupations have nonetheless begun to parallel contemporary anxieties. The thought that the trials of old age are as inescapable as ever, and might have to be faced alone, is beginning to chafe many people’s minds. Secularism and individualism mean that neither faith nor a dutiful family can be counted on to see us all through to the end. These apprehensions make for unreassuring fiction, of the kind that Brookner has long been writing.

Death doulas: helping people face up to dying

The woman sitting opposite me in an Edinburgh cafe is called Rebecca Green. She is in her early 40s, with a soft Birmingham accent and a gentle, smiling face. She is a nurse. But she also does something else - something that has prompted both fascination and animosity in those she has told about it.

Why Parents Can Still End Up Lonely

Amanda Marcotte has already done a fabulous job outlining why Pope Francis was wrong to dismiss those of us living the child-free life as shallow, future bitter types.

Ageing without children: why is no one talking about it?

In this country, care for older people rests mostly on the backs of family carers. 70% of carers are supporting someone aged over 65. Half of these will live with the person and the majority are of working age, mostly in their 50s, suggesting that they are the children of those they are caring for.

Co-Housing Model Can Give Senior Living Providers Competitive Edge - Senior Housing News

Take a group of seniors to a desert island, and they'll do a better job providing for themselves than any senior living institution thus far, says architect and co-housing proponent Charles Durrett. While senior living providers aren't abandoning the tried and true models of assisted living, independent living, memory care or other housing models, some...

The hard truth about getting old

I don't know about you, but the chirpy tales that dominate the public discussion about aging - you know, the ones that tell us that age is just a state of mind, that "60 is the new 40″ and "80 the new 60″ - irritate me. What's next: 100 as the new middle age?

Growing Older Single and Childless: Ageing Horizons

A leading Canadian scientist highlights voices seldom heard, including single and childless older persons, in the second edition of Family Ties and Aging. Dr. Ingrid Arnet Connidis is a professor in the department of sociology at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

Ingrid Arnet Connidis, Dept of Sociology, Faculty of Social Science - Western University

Dr. Ingrid Arnet Connidis Department of Sociology Room 5329, Social Science Centre The University of Western Ontario London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2

NHS is accused of a 'cruel betrayal' of couples by rationing IVF treatment to save money

The NHS has been accused of "a cruel betrayal" of childless couples after figures revealed that more and more groups of GPs are rationing IVF treatment. In a bid to save money, growing numbers of local NHS bodies are denying infertile women the three cycles of IVF which the government's health advisers say they should have.

Childless SNP chiefs have 'no feel for UK family' it is claimed

Leaders accused of not having to worry about future as they are childless Sturgeon and Salmond have 're-established divisions', say rugby players Former Scotland winger Steve Munro said they have no understanding of children By John Stevens for the Daily Mail The two leaders of the Scottish National Party want to break up the Union because they have no children and do not understand families, it has been claimed.

Ageism and ageing without children

Since raising the topic of ageing without children in this blog in April, things have moved on a lot. With the brilliant support of Mervyn Eastman (@mervchangent), Jody Day @gateway women and Robin Hadley @RobinHadley1, Ageing without children has gone from being some angry thoughts in my head to a high profile discussion topic even...

Examples of Ageist Comments

Here are just a few comments we have encountered recently. They come more frequently - as does our invisibility - with every year. We chose these as examples of some of the particular forms that ageism takes.

What Happens When We All Live to 100?

If life-expectancy trends continue, that future may be near, transforming society in surprising and far-reaching ways. For millennia, if not for eons-anthropology continuously pushes backward the time of human origin-life expectancy was short. The few people who grew old were assumed, because of their years, to have won the favor of the gods.

Numbers of elderly needing care will soon outstrip relatives able to help

The scale of the gathering social care crisis has been underlined by new figures showing the number of older people is expected to outstrip the number of family members able to provide informal care for them for the first time in 2017.

It's silly to be frightened of being dead | Diana Athill

ack in the 1920s my mother never went to a funeral if she could help it, and was horrified when she heard of children being exposed to such an ordeal, and my father vanished from the room if death was mentioned; very much later, in the 1960s, when the publishers in which I was a partner brought out a beautiful and amusing book about the trappings of death, booksellers refused to stock something so "morbid".

Many 'fear they will never retire'

About a fifth of people aged 25-54 believe they will never be able to retire because of financial insecurity, a survey has found. A further 23% say money worries will delay retirement by 10 years or more. Research also highlighted concerns about the housing market, with nearly a quarter believing they will never afford to buy a property.

Urgent need to deal with rapid rise in numbers of older people, says report

Older people are expected to make up one-fifth of the world's population by 2050. So governments must prepare to expand social pensions and ensure that this growing demographic plays a full role in society, according to the 2014 Global AgeWatch Index. It ranked Norway as the best place to grow old, with Afghanistan languishing last for the second year.

Memories of Us Not Enough? What Legacy Can the Single or Childless Leave?

I'm 59, the eldest of four siblings, but have no partner and no children. A sense of inadequacy grows: what can I leave my nephews and nieces, and their children? I don't mean memories; I mean, what that is tangible and lasting, that I can equitably ...

Ageing societies will be better for the planet

There is a silver lining to the ageing of societies in the West. Amid fears of rising healthcare costs, soaring pension bills and a declining workforce, it seems that ageing could return Germany to carbon dioxide emission levels not seen since before the 1950s.

Number of severely lonely men over 50 set to rise to 1m in 15 years

The number of men over the age of 50 suffering from severe loneliness in England will increase to more than 1 million in the next 15 years, research based on government statistics has revealed.

Work until you drop

THE developed world is heading into what Shakespeare described as "second childishness and mere oblivion, sans eyes, sans teeth, sans taste, sans everything". The share of the population aged over 65 in rich countries will rise from 15% in 2010 to 27% by 2050, while those aged over 80 will increase from 4% to 9%.

Estate Planning for Childless Couples

Recently, I outlined a basic estate plan for a couple with children. Now, a reader in California asks: "What about marrieds without kids?" "My husband and I own our house, are retired, with a high six-figure nest egg. And no will or trust," she wrote. "What is the minimum we need to do?"

Who will support people who are ageing without children?

By 2030, 2 million people are predicted to be over 65 without adult children, according to a 2014 report. This represents a huge demographic shift: approximately a quarter of people will get older without ever having had children. It's astonishing that such a shift in society has been almost completely ignored in ageing debates.