Thursday, May 1, 2014
When I was in Northern Ireland in 2010, I happened to catch the May Day parade in downtown Belfast. One of my favorite parts of the parade was the Pensioners' Manifesto team, including many smiling marchers I had come to know as friends during my sabbatical in the U.K. Can you imagine U.S. retirees calling themselves "pensioners?" Even AARP no longer calls itself the American Association of Retired Persons. I enjoyed the candor of those marchers in Belfast.
As a result of my time there, I became a fairly regular reader of Irish and U.K. newspapers, which are still remarkably robust, especially by comparison to latter-day U.S. newspapers. The Guardian has a great regular feature on the Social Care Network, a concept I'm not sure we acknowledge in the U.S. Here's a link to the Guardian's Social Care Network feature section.
And here's a link to a Guardian article forwarded to me by Jocelynne Scutt, a visiting scholar at Penn State Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, with law-related roots in Australia, Fiji, Tasmania, and Cambridge, U.K. Titled "Ageing Without Children: Why is No One Talking About It," it discusses the very real dynamic of the growing number of older people in the U.K. (and, of course, world wide) without family to serve as caregivers.