Elderly People with Cancer and “Young People” with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders: Social Issues and Challenges of Two Recently Identified Target Population in Western Societies.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Lynda SIFER-RIVIÈRE, Centre of sciences, medicine, health, mental health and society, France
This paper intends to discuss the social issues and the challenges involved in the aging society, the increase of life expectancy and longevity, in health care management and health policies in western societies, dealing two recently identified target population: “young people” with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related disorders” (≤ 65-70 years), and elderly people with cancer (≥ 75 years), especially around the development of oncogeriatrics. This choice of these two groups allows to consider the opposite way, and therefore potentially heuristic, specificities and antagonisms of the age and diseases. Following Kaufman (2015), it is proposed to understand ageing effects and social issues as implications on health care strategies by analyzing how policies, institutions and actors involved promote and realize a specific framework based on age, and contribute to redefine medical and social needs and forms of responses to these needs.

Oncogeriatrics takes into account the deleterious effects of the very old age to rethink models of cancer care management. “Young people” is designed to meet specific expectations of adult people still considered as young, while they are affected by a pathology as the dominant social representation identifies as linked to old age.

Operate a policy of selection of populations in health and social policies are not a new operation, and the history of medicine and public health provides many examples. But, in the context of aging society, what does it mean and actually involve? Why isolate “youth” in one case, the “very old'” in the other even though it's two diseases whose prevalence increases with ageing? How does it contribute to develop coherent social and health policies?

The theoretical and methodological framework of this papier is based on symbolic interactionism and grounded theory, and on empirical investigations (studied in the context of my PhD and my post-doctoral research).