Author, Fred C. Pompel, treats age as a component of social inequality which gives rise to the three major themes of the text: diversity in the experience of individuals, differences in public policy, and variations across nations. Comparison of the United States with other nations is a central component of the book, providing a greater understanding of the larger forces that shape old age.
Chapter 5: Old Age Support in Comparative Perspective
Old Age Support in Comparative Perspective
IN 1989, MARGARET BROCK gave this testimony to a Special Committee on Aging of the U.S. Senate:
My husband and I believed we had taken care of the future—so-called retirement. Shortly after his retirement, I began to notice a strangeness in his behavior. To shorten this, the strangeness was the beginning of Alzheimer's disease. I managed to take care of him at home for over a year. Then he became violent, incontinent, and didn't know where he was. He was past 80 years old when he worsened to this point. I was 16 years younger, but a severe arthritic. It finally became impossible to cope with this situation. (U.S. Senate 1990:4–5)
To put him in a ...