'Once I became a pensioner I became a nobody – a non-entity': The story of one woman's experience of the health care system
University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba QLD
University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba QLD
PP: 204 - 212
This article highlights one socially isolated older person's experiences of ageing in a large metropolitan Australian location and the problems she encounters in attempting to access appropriate and timely health care.
As society moves into a phase of rapid demographic ageing, this personal account provides health professionals with an in-depth insight into what it can be like to live in social isolation as one ages and needs ever increasing health care.
Win is part of a larger study investigating difficulties encountered by socially isolated older people in accessing health care needs, and preferred her real name to be used for this article. All other names used are fictitious to preserve anonymity.
invisible; pensioner; non-entity; ageing; social isolation; health care
Atchley, R. (1989). A continuity theory of normal aging. The Gerontologist, 29(2), 183-190.
Atchley, R., & Barusch, A. (2004). Social forces and aging: An introduction to social gerontology (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Bartlett, H. (2003). An ageing perspective. Foresight: The Journal of Future Studies, Strategic Thinking and Policy, 5(6), 26-33.
Berkman, L. (1995). The role of social relations in health promotion. New Haven, CT: Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, CT06520, American Psychosomatic Society. Retrieved May 28, 2006, from http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/abstract/57/3/245
Cattan, M., White, M., Bond, J., & Learmouth, A. (2005). Preventing social isolation and loneliness among older people: A systematic review of health promotion interventions. Ageing & Society Cambridge University Press, 25, 41-67.
Copeland, M. (2002). Dealing with depression in later life. Mental Health Recovery.com. Retrieved May 5, 2006, from http://www.mentalhealthrecovery.com/art_laterlife.html
Cumming, E., & Henry, W. (1961). Growing old, the process of disengagement (1st ed.). New York: Basic Books.
Davey, J. (2007). Older people and transport: Coping without a car. Ageing & Society Cambridge University Press, 27(1), 49-65.
Dugan, E., & Kivett, V. (1994). The importance of emotional and social isolation to loneliness among very old rural adults. The Gerontologist, 34(3), 340-346.
Ebersole, P., Hess, P., & Schmidt Luggen, A. (2003). Toward healthy aging human needs and nursing response (6th ed.). St Louis, MO: Mosby.
Findlay, R. (2003). Interventions to reduce social isolation amongst older people: Where is the evidence? Ageing & Society, 23, 647-658.
Findlay, R., & Cartwright, C. (2002). Social isolation & older people: A literature review. St. Lucia, QLD: Australasian Centre on Ageing, University of Queensland.
Glaser, B. (1992). Basics of grounded theory analysis. Mill Valley, California: Sociology Press.
Glaser, B., & Holton, J. (2004). Remodeling grounded theory [80 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 5(2), 4.
Greaves, C. J., & Farbus, L. (2006). Effects of creative and social activity on the health and well-being of socially isolated older people: Outcomes from a multi-method observational study. Journal of the Royal Society for Promotion of Health, 126(3), 126-134.
Grundy, E. (2006). Ageing and vulnerable elderly people: European perspectives. Ageing & Society, 26, 105-134.
Hall, M., & Havens, B. (1998). The effect of social isolation and loneliness on the health of older women. Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence. Retrieved April 16, 2006, from http://www.uwinnipeg.ca/admin/vh_external/pwhce/effectSocialIsolation.htm
Havighurst, R. J. (1961). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 1(1), 8-13.
Hensher, D. (2006, March). Aging - Coming your way sooner or later: Social Exclusion - Informed Reality Thinking on Accessibility and Mobility in an Aging Population: A perspective on western societies. [Version 22a]. Sydney: The University of Sydney, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS).
Killias, M., & Clerici, C. (2000). Different measures of vulnerability in their relation to different dimensions of fear of crime. British Journal of Criminology, 40(3), 437-450.
Machielse, A. (2006). Social isolation and the elderly: Causes and consequences. Shanghai: Utrecht University.
Mann, D. (2000). Strong social ties reduce seniors' risk of dementia. Medscape from WEBMD. Retrieved April 27, 2006, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/517981
Minichiello, V., Browne, J., & Kendig, H. (2000). Perceptions and consequences of ageism: Views of older people. Ageing and Society, 20(3), 253-278.
Moore, S., & Shepherd, J. (2007). The elements and prevalence of fear. British Journal of Criminology, 47(1), 154-162.
Murray, S. (2001). Cumulative trivia syndrome linked to elderly dependency. University of Edinburgh Research News, No. 36. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. Retrieved May 28, 2006, from http://www.scottishresearch.com/WhatsNew/News/Older/tcm-26-39714
Payton Fay, V. (2004). Theories of ageing. UMES. Retrieved June 10, 2006, from http://facstaffwebs.umes.edu/sdeviney/gerontology/quadagno3_ppt
Reid, R. (1994). Caring for older people: A resource book for Australian carers. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Russell, C., & Schofi eld, T. (1999). Social isolation in old age: A qualitative exploration of service providers' perceptions. Ageing & Society, 19, 69-91.
Sabir, M., Wethington, E., Breckman, R., Meador, R., Reid, M., & Pillemer, K. (2009). A community- based participatory critique of social isolation intervention research for community- dwelling older adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 28(2), 218-234.
Schröder-Butterfi ll, E., & Marianti, R. (2006). A framework for understanding old-age vulnerabilities. Ageing & Society, 26(1), 9-35.
Tanner, D. (2003). Older people and access to care. British Journal of Social Work, 33(4), 499-515.
Tanner, D. (2007). Starting with lives: Supporting older people's strategies and ways of coping. Journal of Social Work, 7(1), 7-30.
Tornstam, L. (1996). Caring for elderly. Introducing the theory of gerotranscendence as a supplementary frame of reference for the care of elderly. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 10, 144-150.
Tornstam, L. (1999). Gerotranscendence and the functions of reminiscence. Journal of Aging and Identity, 4(3), 155-166.
Victor, C., Bowling, A., Bond, J., & Scambler, S. (2003). Loneliness, social isolation and living alone in later life. Sheffield, UK: Mental Health Foundation.
Victor, C., Scambler, S., & Bond, J. (2008). The social world of older people: Understanding loneliness and social isolation in later life (1st ed.). Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.
Wenger, G., Davies, R., Shahtahmasebi, S., & Scott, A. (1995). Social isolation and loneliness in old age: Review and model refinement. Ageing & Society Cambridge University Press, 16(3), 333-358.
Whelan, M., Langford, J., Oxley, J., Koppel, S., & Charlton, J. (2006). The elderly and mobility: A review of the literature, #255. Melbourne, VIC: Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC).