© 2013

Reciprocity and Dependency in Old Age

Indian and UK Perspectives


Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 8)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Foundations of Understanding

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Sue Thompson
      Pages 3-14
    3. Sue Thompson
      Pages 15-34
    4. Sue Thompson
      Pages 35-65
  3. Hearing Their Voices

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. Sue Thompson
      Pages 69-96
    3. Sue Thompson
      Pages 97-133
  4. The Implications

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 221-229

About this book


It's the standard picture, and a depressing one: older adults receiving formal care as passive and alienated. Overlooked in this equation is the capacity of dependent elders for giving back - doing for others - and their need to continue finding meaning to their existence which is an essential aspect of improving their lives and care.

 Reciprocity and Dependency in Old Age presents an empowering new paradigm for reframing our conception of the lives of elders who are in need of care. Elegantly reasoned and meticulously researched, the book explores the importance of connectedness in later years, and argues that facilitating reciprocity benefits all parties involved - elders, caregivers, and society at large. Reframing dependent care in a more positive light is highlighted as a crucial step toward recognizing older adults' value, thereby improving their self-esteem and promoting their dignity. The importance of promoting change in care systems in order to facilitate the building up of social capital is also addressed.

 This important volume:

  • Presents the findings of an extensive research study on reciprocity in later life.
  • Provides phenomenologically and sociologically grounded frameworks for understanding reciprocity in the lives of elders.
  • Gives voice to frequently neglected perspectives on elders' well-being.
  • Relates the study findings to elders' spiritual dimension and aspirations for a future as well as a present and a past.
  • Offers a means of transforming deficit models of old age.
  • Examines the potential for improving the future of eldercare.

 With its powerful vision, Reciprocity and Dependency in Old Age is certain to be read and discussed by practitioners, educators and students in a range of fields, including gerontology, sociology, social policy, social work, health and social care, psychology, pastoral care, and by others committed to improving quality of life for older adults.




meaningful activities for older people old age as basis for social division reciprocity and old age reciprocity and self-esteem social gerontology spiritual well-being of older people

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Wrexham, WalesUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Sue Thompson, PhD works in Wales as a director of Avenue Consulting Ltd and does postgraduate research in the field of eldercare. She received her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Liverpool, following a masters in social work obtained at University of Wales. Dr. Thompson has extensive experience in the caring professions, both at the practitioner level as a nurse and social worker, and also as a practice assessor, mentor, and educator in social work and social care more broadly defined. She has written and co-written a number of articles, chapters, books, and learning resources pertaining particularly to older people and eldercare. A key theme in her practice, research, and publications is the challenging of ageist practices which compromise dignity and personhood, and the ideologies and discourses which reinforce such practices as morally legitimate. Dr. Thompson is a co-founder of the Welsh Organisation for Practice Teaching and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Reciprocity and Dependency in Old Age
  • Book Subtitle Indian and UK Perspectives
  • Authors Sue Thompson
  • Series Title International Perspectives on Aging
  • Series Abbreviated Title Int. Perspect. Aging
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4614-6686-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4899-9474-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4614-6687-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIII, 229
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Geriatrics/Gerontology
    Health Psychology
    Social Work
    Quality of Life Research
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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