This book highlights (1) the significance of reciprocity for the maintenance of self-esteem in old age and (2) the negative implications for the well-being of dependent older people when that significance goes unrecognized and, as a consequence, opportunities to give back to society, as well as take from it, are t facilitated by those in a position to do so. The discussion draws on research undertaken in the UK and Southern India into the extent to which having the self-perception of being valued in the world is important to older people in receipt of care support and whether, in their experience, this is recognized by others. The author presents an analysis of theoretical insights from leading thinkers across a broad range of literature and from several disciplines, including social theory, social work, philosophy, and gerontology. The author also gives voice to the perspectives of those dependent older people t often heard because of marginalizing and disempowering processes that contribute to their having little opportunity to be heard in the first place. The emphasis of this book is on aspiration to a meaningful life and continuing personal growth as offering a challenge to dominant discourses the equate old age with decline.
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.