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VulnerabilityNew Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy$
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Catriona Mackenzie, Wendy Rogers, and Susan Dodds

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199316649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199316649.001.0001

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Vulnerability and Aging in the Context of Care

Vulnerability and Aging in the Context of Care

Chapter:
(p.288) 12 Vulnerability and Aging in the Context of Care
Source:
Vulnerability
Author(s):

Rosemarie Tong

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199316649.003.0013

This essay explores vulnerability in the context of care of the elderly. Using the United States as a case study, the descriptive part of the essay discusses whether it is the family, state, or some combination thereof who should have responsibility for taking care of the elderly in three environments: the home; assisted living residences; and skilled nursing homes. Drawing on Kittay’s work on dependency and Tronto’s citizenship theory, the normative part of the essay critically examines the moral appropriateness of these allocations of responsibility. The essay concludes by arguing that current ideals for familial and societal responsibility for care of the elderly such as the "family breadwinner" ideal and the "adult worker" ideal need to be replaced by the "adult caring worker" ideal. Together with women, men need to press governments to provide elderly people adequate care, including publically-funded long-term care insurance.

Keywords:   vulnerability, aging, care work, elder care, dependency

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