Friday, April 6, 2012

Books on Ageing in Asia

This is a selection of books on the issue of ageing populations in Asia:

Ageing Baby Boomers: The Most Pressing Issue of the Age by Kua Ee-Heok. The baby boomers have come of age - the first cohort born in 1946 is now 65 years old. The pervasive themes in this book are mental resilience, the ethical mind and life satisfaction. What factors influenced and determined the lives of 40 young lads from a small Malaysian town who were from the same school in 1964? Their experiences and life stories are juxtaposed with another group of baby boomers in Singapore. This book is, in essence, a quantitative and qualitative study of their collective experiences. There are many books on gerontology in the libraries and bookshops, but they are all written from the British or American perspective. Ageing Baby Boomers is written from an Asian perspective, viewed through the lens of time by a doctor who has lived and worked on both sides of the Causeway. Professor Kua Ee-Heok hopes it will ignite interest, like the yeast for the unleavened bread; its effervescence will give rise to new ideas in addressing the most pressing issue of the age - the ageing of the baby boomers.

Ageing in Singapore: Service Needs and the State by Peggy Teo; Kalyani Mehta, Leng Leng Thang et al. Older persons are often portrayed as social and financial burdens because pensions, health and social care have to withstand increasing old age dependency ratios. Due to a lack of access to representation or a lack of social and economic power, older people have found few opportunities to have their voices heard, making age an immensely political issue. Written by an impressive team of authors, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the experience of ageing in Singapore examining key issues such as health, work, housing, family ties and care giving. It looks at how social categorization enters into everyday life to elucidate the multiple meanings of age and identity encountered in a rapidly changing economy and society. Providing original critical discourse from Asian writers recording Asian voices, this work will appeal to a wide readership and is an invaluable resource for policy makers, service practitioners and scholars working on Asian gerontology.

Older Persons in Southeast Asia: An Emerging Asset edited by Evi Nurvidya Arifin and Aris Ananta. We all know that today's demographic trends will inevitably mean that the proportion of elderly in Asia's ever-growing population will continue to increase. In these 15 papers 26 specialists address many aspects of implications of this not-necessarily-negative fact. After introductory overviews in Part 1, Part 2 looks at aspects of income security with reference to approaches in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Part 3 considers employment and other sources of financial and social support. Part 4 examines ageing, migration, and development issues with reference to experiences in Singapore, the Philippines and Sarawak. The final two papers discuss interactive issues of government, civil society and policy implementation. With index and separate bibliographies.

Ageing in Southeast and East Asia: Family, Social Protection and Policy Challenges edited by Lee Hock Guan. Southeast and East Asian countries are undergoing varying stages of population ageing. The social, economic and political implications of population ageing will be enormous, and because of the fast speed of ageing in the region, the countries cannot afford the luxury of time for the gradual evolution of social and structural support systems and networks for the older population. The papers in this volume are selected from those presented at a 2004 workshop on Ageing and the Status of the Older Population in Southeast Asia. They critically examine national ageing policies and programmes, the sustainability of existing pension systems, housing and living arrangements, inter-generational transfer, and aspects of quality of life of the elderly population in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. While the findings show that most Southeast Asian countries have started to formulate and implement national ageing policies, they also indicate that the existing policies are by and large inadequate and underdeveloped in serving the needs of the older population and indeed much more must be done to prepare for the future.

The Glittering Silver Market: The Rise of the Elderly Consumers in Asia by Yuwa Hedrick-Wong. Throughout the world there is an ongoing increase in the elderly consumer market and its impact in Asia is the focus of this clearly organised. After an overview of ageing patterns, tabulated economic and demographic data are provided for each chapter on: Ageing Japan; Affluent Asia (i.e. Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore); Emerging China; Emerging Asia: Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and India; and a final chapter on immediately appropriate changes in focus by marketers, in the workplace and in public perceptions. Index.

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