Holidays and the elderly
Henderson, Joan C.
Patterns of holiday taking by the elderly have been used in this thesis to illustrate the effect of growing old upon activity and attitudes. The nature and adequacy of the provision of opportunities to take holidays have also been assessed. The opening account of thought and literature on growing old and its implications is followed by a description of the circumstances of the retired and elderly population as a whole and their holidays in comparison with those of all adult society. The household interview survey group is then considered in terms of personal conditions, holiday taking, attitudes towards holidays and knowledge and use of assistance to holiday. The general subject of holidays and growing old is discussed under the different aspects of behaviour, attitudes and assistance. Special attention is given to the impact of retirement in a separate chapter. An analysis of supply follows this examination of demand and provision is seen to reflect the circumstances of clients; help is arranged for the economically and socially deprived and private holidays are sold to the more affluent. Assistance for holiday taking is described at a local and national level, with details given about the organisations at work and their overall relationship. The commercial sector is acknowledged to be an important source of opportunities for holiday taking and to have considerable potential for future growth and development. Those responsible for taking decisions and making policy are reviewed and their roles are defined and compared. Finally, supply is related to demand, any inadequacies are noted and suggestions are made for changes and improvements in the system. The main conclusions to emerge are that there is some unmet demand for holidays amongst the retired and elderly which could be met by certain actions and reforms. However, although this population is recognised as having particular requirements and needs, its behaviour and attitudes are shown to be similar to those of the rest of society. Growing old does not follow any predictable pattern and older people are affected by many other influences besides that of chronological age.