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Aging Across the United States

Matching Needs to States' Differing Opportunities and Services

Charles Lockhart and Jean Giles-Sims

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: Penn State University Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xiv

This study grew out of recent troubling and often sad experiences with our parents, to whom we dedicate this book. Across something more than a decade we watched, initially from the sidelines, but increasingly over time from the field of action, as they became progressively more physically frail, cognitively limited, or both. Lengthy portions of this process occurred in different states,...

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pp. 1-18

Garrison Keillor’s amusing stories about the residents of an imaginary small northern Minnesota town who fantasize in February, not about sex, but about living in Florida remind us of one way in which where we live influences our well-being as we grow older. Indeed, once they retire, many Minnesotans spend their winters in Florida or other states with milder winter climates and a ...

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pp. 18-33

Contemporary Americans in their late fifties through their sixties, the “young-old,” express widely varying orientations toward retirement. In this chapter and the two that follow, we examine state support for three common but sharply distinct broad objectives for retirement: the attainment of fun, of meaning, and of safe affordability. This chapter addresses the first basic issue we presented ...

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Chapter Two: Making Meaningful Contributions and Finding Supportive Communities

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pp. 34-52

To remain healthy and happy, most older people continue to need meaning in their lives and social involvement that keeps them connected with others.1 Elders who retire from their normal full-time employment often miss the structure, identity, companionship or community, and sense of shared purpose that employment can—but does not always—provide.2 Some seek part-time em - ...

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Chapter Three: Finding Affordability and Safety

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pp. 53-71

Once people retire, their incomes usually decline, sometimes quite sharply, while their expenses remain much the same. With more free time, retirees face new temptations to spend money. And anyone with a long-term mortgage knows that taxes and insurance become the predominant elements of the payment by the time the mortgage is paid off.1 Clever retirees have long recognized ...

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Chapter Four: Sustaining Health and Obtaining High-Quality Medical Care

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pp. 72-91

Here we examine two central issues for many seniors: where to live the healthiest lives and find the best medical care. We cannot control our genetic endowment, but to maintain our health we can avoid smoking and adhere to a sensible program of diet and exercise. Following desirable habits across a lifetime into retirement greatly improves the chances of remaining healthy as a senior. Yet...

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Chapter Five: Finding Accessible and High-Quality Long-Term Care

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pp. 92-116

As we Americans live increasing longer lives, and larger numbers of us will confront disabling health problems, particularly in extremely old age. The“old-old” do suffer from acute illnesses and injuries that require immediate medical attention, but in this chapter we focus on chronic physiological (e.g.,severe arthritis) or cognitive (e.g., various forms of dementia) circumstances ....

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Chapter Six: Putting It All Together: Explaining State Variation in Senior Friendliness

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pp. 117-139

Jerry and Arlene Senter are idling away their days in Iowa and dreaming enviously about Art and Karen Munro’s adventurous new experiences and friends in the scenic mountains of southeastern New Mexico. Arnie and Muriel Hestir feel trapped and live without clear positive purpose in their changing neighborhood near Atlanta, whereas Nancy Currier has carved out a meaningful and ...

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pp. 140-146

Imagine, for a few moments, the retirement party that Art and Karen Munro’s friends threw for them a few years ago. The party occurred in late September, before most of their “snowbird” friends took off for winter locales in southern states, and a couple of friends who had previously moved to southern locations attended while on trips north to enjoy early autumn in the Upper Midwest. An ...


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pp. 147-186


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pp. 187-200

Selected Readings

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pp. 201-202


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pp. 203-210

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271053592
E-ISBN-10: 0271053593
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271037578
Print-ISBN-10: 0271037571

Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 40 maps, 47 tables
Publication Year: 2010