Meanings of Getting Old in Post-Transition Serbia
A Gender Perspective
Living in a post-transition aging society has been very challenging for Serbia's citizens. Unsurprisingly, older citizens have been under numerous kinds of pressure, in different domains of their everyday life, including health care and social care, attitudes of others, etc. On top of this, older women seem to be in an especially difficult situation. The paper starts from feminist perspectives on aging, arguing in favor of gender-shaped differences of aging. One of the main pre-assumptions is that the older women are faced with heightened inequalities, i.e. the life of women in their old age magnifies the inequalities already existin in their earlier stages of life (Abbott/Wallace/Tyler 2005). This paper is based on research conducted in Novi Beograd, one of the municipalities of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. 605 persons over 65 years of life were interviewed and additional 61 persons over 65 years of life were gathered into focus groups. The research was conducted between March and June 2017, exploring the demographic characteristics of households, their social-economic status, health and social care services offered to older people in the community, support networks and their attitudes. Findings point to significant differences in almost every domain of life researched between men and women. The most striking findings point to significantly lower income in older women, their lower self-esteemed health status and also their lower objective health status. Their usage of support programs in the community also shows differences compared to men, depending on the service.