As humans live longer, the elderly population increases, and the challenges we face in addressing their needs continue to evolve. This book explores the theoretical and practical issues raised by advanced aging in the contemporary world. Developing new sociological theory, Paul Higgs and Chris Gilleard suggest that mental and physical frailty forms a central theme in narratives about deep old age and that discussions of personhood are needed to address this concept. After examining key terms like personhood, the fourth age, frailty, and abjection, Higgs and Gilleard consider the broader implications of these concepts for issues of care both its meanings and its management. As the care needs of the elderly and options for meeting these needs grow more complex, it is important to examine our collective hopes and fears concerning the end of life, including questions about personhood and expectations for the quality and content of end-of-life care."