Dr. Lynne Gouliquer is an assistant professor of Sociology at Laurentian University (Ontario, Canada) and an Honorary Research Associate at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. Her research focuses on the sociology of organizations and marginalization theory as it applies to particular groups such as women in non-traditional work, older adults living in place, and Métis people. She received her PhD from McGill University, and is a Banting Fellow. She is the co-founder of the P-SEC Research Methodology and Lab.
Cultural protection against the Internalising of the schema of the older adult as frail and burdensome
Carmen Poulin is an Associate Dean of Arts and a Professor (Psychology & Gender & Women’s Studies) at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. Her research focuses on the impact of social practices on women, ageing individuals, and more generally on marginalised groups’ daily lives.
The schema of the older person as frail and as a burden is pervasive in our society. Older adults are framed as “unabContext Matters: Age-Friendly Initiatives across Diverse New Jersey Communities le-to-care-of-themselves” and the background for this schema is the current Canadian society as influenced by neoliberal values, especially individuality and independence. This ageist schema has led to the marginalisation of this population and to the internalising of these messages by older adults. However, certain factors may be protecting some individuals from this influence. In this presentation, we report on a research project where we examined the experience of 90+ year old individuals who live “in place” (e.g., their own homes) in New Brunswick. We interviewed thirty-five Acadian Francophone and Anglophone individuals and documented the daily lives of individuals and histories. A comparison of the lived experiences of these two groups reveals how culture and social support networks intersect with the “burden” schema. Acadians revering of family connections appears to shield both the older adults and their family from the influence of this schema. Social support agencies, whether provincial or community based, need to understand and adapt policies and practices to the differing cultural realities and perceptions of the older adults that they serve.