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Author Weil, Joyce.

Title The new neighborhood senior center : redefining social and service roles for the baby boom generation / Joyce Weil
Published New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press, 2014
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Summary "In 2011, seven thousand American "baby boomers" (those born between 1946 and 1964) turned sixty-five daily. As this largest U.S. generation ages, cities, municipalities, and governments at every level must grapple with the allocation of resources and funding for maintaining the quality of life, health, and standard of living for an aging population. In The New Neighborhood Senior Center, Joyce Weil uses in-depth ethnographic methods to examine a working-class senior center in Queens, New York. She explores the ways in which social structure directly affects the lives of older Americans and traces the role of political, social, and economic institutions and neighborhood processes in the decision to close such centers throughout the city of New York. Many policy makers and gerontologists advocate a concept of "aging in place," whereby the communities in which these older residents live provide access to resources that foster and maintain their independence. But all "aging in place" is not equal and the success of such efforts depends heavily upon the social class and availability of resources in any given community. Senior centers, expanded in part by funding from federal programs in the 1970s, were designed as focal points in the provision of community-based services. However, for the first wave of "boomers," the role of these centers has come to be questioned. Declining government support has led to the closings of many centers, even as the remaining centers are beginning to "rebrand" to attract the boomer generation. However, The New Neighborhood Senior Centerdemonstrates the need to balance what the boomers' want from centers with the needs of frailer or more vulnerable elders who rely on the services of senior centers on a daily basis. Weil challenges readers to consider what changes in social policies are needed to support or supplement senior centers and the functions they serve."-- Provided by publisher
"In this book, ethnographic work at a working-class senior center in Queens, NY, is used as a case study to examine the role of social structure, not only upon the life stories of older individuals attending the center, but in affecting and being affected by changes at the level of the center, from the local community, city, and beyond. The work traces the effects of political, social, and economic institutions, organizations, and neighborhood processes involved in the decision to close, or "shutter," a senior center that was not even part of the Department for the Aging's (DFTA) leaked closure list. The discussion is then expanded to include issues related to the trend of "re-branding," or making existing senior centers more innovative, to attract Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). With 7,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 years of age each day in 2011 in the United States, considerable time and effort have been spent making centers appealing to the Baby Boomers. Yet, at the same time, a need is seen to balance the Boomers' center models to also accommodate the needs of a group of more frail or "vulnerable" elders who also rely on the services of senior centers on a daily basis."-- Provided by publisher
Notes Machine generated contents note: Introduction: Shuttered1 The History of Senior Centers: The Rise of the Center Movement and How Centers Form Spatial Identity2 The Case of the Center before "Shuttering": The Daily Life of the Center3 The Case of the Center as It "Shutters"4 Reconstructing "Shuttering" in a Larger Social Context5 The Organizational Embeddedness of Capital: Being "Saved" and Being "Sunk"6 Poor Centers: The Politics of Age and Class in Neighborhood Context7 Reconceptualizing Centers: The Baby Boomers and Their Perceived Needs8 Beyond Rebranding: Using Policy to Building a Sustainable CoreAppendix A: Self-reflection: My Experience in the FieldAppendix B: Methods
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Baby boom generation -- New York (State) -- Service for
Baby boom generation -- United States -- Service for
Older people -- Services for -- New York (State)
Older people -- Services for -- United States.
Senior centers -- New York (State)
Senior centers -- United States.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0813562961 (electronic bk.)
9780813562964 (electronic bk.)