Gladys, who is in her mid-eighties, is used to living alone. Jack, the love of her life, died seven

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Gladys, who is in her mid-eighties, is used to living alone. Jack, the love of her life, died seven years ago. He had dementia for a number of years and Gladys looked after him. She is a life-time member of the Wembley Book Club and during her retirement, until Jack died, she was a devoted fundraiser for the club. She used to do everything for herself, but now a Silver Chain carer visits with her main meal six days a week and someone else cleans the house every few days. In addition, a Registered Nurse visits once a week and she spends every Sunday with her son James, his wife, and their three adult children. Gladys taught English and History at a number of different high schools in Western Australia until she retired at age sixty. She was much loved by her students and was well-known for writing a textbook on the history of Australia. Gladys was giving guest lectures at various schools and community groups, in addition to running the book club, up until her mid-seventies. Many of her friends and book club companions have died in recent years and her sight is poor so can’t read for too long or drive her car. Gladys sleeps a lot and spends most of her awake time listening to ABC radio. She likes the news and is up-to-date with what’s happening locally, nationally and internationally. She’s quite content to sit in his recliner chair and spend the hours thinking about Jack and their life together, as well as the things she used to do on the family farm with her two sisters who have both died. Other than seeing her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren she doesn’t get out much. The garden in her home of the last 40 years is overgrown because she hasn’t got the energy to do the mowing and weeding, and she can’t afford to pay someone to do it on her pension.


Gladys is in reasonable health for someone of her age. She has never smoked cigarettes or drank more than the occasional glass of wine, but she is now overweight. She gets angina when she is stressed or moves too quickly and she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes five years ago. Both are managed with a variety of medications. Recently she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and she’s been told she will need to have radiotherapy as an outpatient over a number of weeks. The breast cancer is causing her quite a bit of pain and she’s started taking codeine base analgesia which is making her constipated. Her son and the RN who visits have been telling her it’s time she went into residential care. Gladys is not at all keen to do that because she doesn’t want to be around other people all the time and she’s worried about the cost. She’s hoping to be able to leave her son the proceeds of the sale of her house when she eventually dies. Her son and his wife have considerable debts due to losing their employment with Qantas with the coronavirus pandemic. She doesn’t want her house to be sold so that the money can be used for her future care.      


Describe the concept of generativity with reference to Gladys’s involvement with the Wembley Book Club, and explain the importance of generativity for her aging.



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