Love in Later Life

Hardcover | February 12, 2008

byAmanda Smith Barusch

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The number of elderly people is growing rapidly all over the world in the year 2000, over 25 million Americans were at least 70 years old and increasingly, these senior citizens are not giving up on love just because Hollywood still focuses on the steamy romances of fresh-faced youths. Withthe first baby boomers turning 60 and technology allowing both better health and better chances of meeting people, via the Internet, this trend will only continue, yet the concept of romance (as opposed to sex) among the elderly has been neglected by gerontologists. This book is the beginning of aremedy to that. Unlike the existing superficial guidebooks for seniors about finding a new mate, it is based on original research that, for the first time, asks seniors what love, romance, and, yes, even sex, mean in their lives. Amanda Barusch, a leading gerontological researcher, conducted over100 in-depth interviews with people from all walks of life, as well as focus groups, essay contests, workshops, discussions, and an Internet survey in which over 300 adults shared their romantic experiences. The result is an inside look at the realities and possibilities of romantic love in laterlife. Describing the creative approaches some seniors are using to satisfy their desire for love, it also accounts for the impact of common age-related changes, both emotional and physical, on romantic relationships. Each chapter begins with a narrative and concludes with relationship-building andself-awareness exercises, and the book as a whole makes liberal use of insights from older singles and couplesstraight, gay, widowed, divorced, urban, rural, minority, content, and lonely. Baruschs fresh perspective, engaging voice, and rich qualitative data will guide gerontologists, socialworkers, and counselors as they help their clients navigate the challenges of love in later life. Anyone with a personal interest will find this an irresistible glimpse of what to expect as age shapes the experience of love.

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From the Publisher

The number of elderly people is growing rapidly all over the world in the year 2000, over 25 million Americans were at least 70 years old and increasingly, these senior citizens are not giving up on love just because Hollywood still focuses on the steamy romances of fresh-faced youths. Withthe first baby boomers turning 60 and techno...

Amanda Smith Barusch, PhD, has been teaching and researching in the field of aging for over 25 years. Most of those were spent on the faculty of the College of Social Work at the University of Utah. She now serves as Professor and Head of Department of Social Work and Community Development at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Sh...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:February 12, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195314042

ISBN - 13:9780195314045

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Love in Later LifePart 1: Love and Age1. Understanding Love2. The Aging SelfPart 2: Love's Illusions3. Infatuation4. Looking for LovePart 3: Lived Love5. Committed Relationships6. Supporting Actors: Family, Friends, and CommunityPart 4: Love's Disillusions7. Betrayal and Rejection8. Love LostConclusion: The Romantic ImaginationAppendix A: Love in Professional LiteratureAppendix B: The Research in Detail

Editorial Reviews

"A scholarly approach to a 'fuzzy' concept, the book is enlivened with rich and often touching stories of love past age 50. Love is seen though the broad lens of historical, cultural, social, psychological and even spiritual eyes. A 'must read' for educators and practitioners as well asstudents of life, this book is a major contribution to breaking the stereotypes of what it means to grow old and how life continues to be meaningful in the later years."--Connie Corley, Professor, School of Social Work and Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, California State University-LosAngeles