Wellbeing in Old Age from a Gender Perspective
From this point of view, the increasing presence of women in the workplace, the raising of the retirement age, together with current social transformations and a drop in past forms of reciprocity and solidarity will affect welfare models, and lead to important consequences for the well-being of the elderly.
By adopting the life course approach to studying “health trajectories” in the ageing process, the research takes into account the paradigm of gender and the ensuing differences. These may be seen as crucial elements of those dynamics linking several multidimensional factors that play a relevant role in health outcomes. In our paper, we have considered gender role construction as having a double significance that could explain the ambivalence of the epidemiological data. By analysing the life story and medical history of certain witnesses – females and males over the age of 75 – the research results show a possible connection between the worst health outcomes (in terms of both disease and illness) and overburdening deriving from a “double presence”, and the positive effect on the “re-establishment” of identities (Beck 2008) in the continuity of care.