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Older age, aged care, and ageism during the coronavirus pandemic: narratives from Australia


Cook, PS, Older age, aged care, and ageism during the coronavirus pandemic: narratives from Australia, Proceedings of the 2022 ENAS & NANAS Joint Conference, 28 September - 01 October 2022, Bucharest, pp. 1 piece- abstract. (2022) [Conference Extract]

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The coronavirus pandemic has generated numerous media and political responses that bring together health, risk, and age. Within these responses, older people have been cast as ‘the vulnerable elderly’ who are in poor health, considered to be automatically at risk of COVID-19 due to their age, and are less socially worthy and valuable than younger people. This simplistic connection between older age, frailty and ill-health reduces older age to a medical and health problem, which perpetuates and deepens ageism. The implied connection has been particularly evident during the coronavirus pandemic through the imposition of severe lockdown restrictions on older people who are living in aged (or long-term) care facilities. These socio-political and institutional regulations have heightened the isolation from society that older people living in such environments already face, ironically further threatening their health and wellbeing. Drawing on Australian media reports and political responses to coronavirus, and restrictions on people living in Australian residential aged care during 2020, I will explore how ageism and risk narratives during the coronavirus pandemic jeopardised older Australians health, wellbeing, and dignity of risk, while also reinforcing pre-existing barriers to social inclusion.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:older age; aged care; residential aged care; long-term care; nursing homes; ageism; age discrimination; COVID-19; coronavirus; coronavirus pandemic; health; risk; lockdowns
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology of the life course
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Ageing and older people
UTAS Author:Cook, PS (Dr Peta Cook)
ID Code:153956
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2022-10-18
Last Modified:2022-10-18

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