Myten om eldrebølgen

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Abstract

The ageing population represents today one of the most central demographic challenges in many countries of the world, including Norway. In the public debate about the ageing population, the metaphor “Elder Boom” is increasingly being used. This article gives insight into the discussion in Norway and shows that the metaphor “Elder Boom” does not represent a constructive contribution to the ageing-population debate. The article provides arguments against two implications of the “Boom” metaphor: that ageing people are unwanted in society, and that older people represent a huge and increasing amount of welfare dependency. It shows how society over time has strived to control diseases (such as tuberculosis) in order to increase life expectancy. Society does, in fact, see old age as one of its major achievements, not as a problem as implied in the “Elder Boom” metaphor.
The article also demonstrates how social policies implemented in the elderly-care sector in Norway have increasingly reduced services to elderly people while increasing allocation to younger people still of working age. By pointing out these changes in old age and elderly care over time, the article is a contribution to put an end to the myth of an “Elder Boom”. Overall, it contributes to the understanding of how this myth, bolstered by the Western world’s ideal
of (welfare) independence, both stigmatizes and misconstrues elderly people’s dependency on the welfare state, which is in fact decreasing for various reasons.
Translated title of the contributionThe myth of the 'Elder Boom'
Original languageNorwegian
Title of host publicationMyter om velferd og velferdsstaten
EditorsKaren Christensen, Liv Johanne Syltevik
PublisherCappelen Damm Akademisk
Publication date2018
Pages75-98
Chapter4
ISBN (Print)978-82-02-60414-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-82-02-62550-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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