Why are the elderly so often perceived as burdensome and unproductive members of our society? Altruism in Later Life explores and refutes this view with cogent, empirical data. Authors Elizabeth Midlarsky and Eva Kahana introduce the results of a series of investigations on assistance offered by--rather than to--the elderly, in the context of historical, philosophical, and theoretical trends in gerontology and altruism research. Following a brief but inclusive historical survey of aging treatments, they present their own theoretical model of successful aging: Based on a carefully applied methodological review of research focusing on altruism and the elderly, the results reveal the relative frequency, nature, correlates, and ramifications of the contributions they make. Dispelling many of the misapprehensions held about the elderly, this work will prove to be a vital, timely resource for professionals and students in fields including gerontology, psychology, social work, sociology, counseling, and the health sciences.
Theories and Concepts of Altruism and Helping
Beyond Current Views of Aging
Helping Across the Life Span
Predictors of Helping and Well-Being in Older Adults
Helping and Volunteering in Late Life
Conclusions and Implications