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Since the 1990s, the politics and policies of aging and elder care have emerged as one of the more important issues both nationally and worldwide. Because of population aging and the lengthening of the age span itself, the prevalence of chronic disabling diseases is increasing considerably, rendering more people dependent on others to meet their daily needs. The Not So Golden Years: Caregiving, the Frail Elderly and the Long-Term Care Establishment explores the forces shaping long-term care policy in the U.S. and its impact on individuals and public budgets. The book addresses the world of elder care from the vantage point of gender, race, ethnicity and social class. It systematically describes the experiences of family caregivers, the workers who comprise the caring labor force, and the frail elderly themselves, showing how each of these vulnerable players, mostly women, are affected by long-term care policies and practices.
Laura Katz Olson is professor of political science at Lehigh University.