The elderly population is expected to be the fastest growing population sub-group in Canada over the next few decades (Statistics Canada, 2011). Since the aging population requires much care, it is important to focus on their social network. An important component of the older adults’ social network are their siblings. These are individuals whom older adults share genetic, family, social class, and historical background, and to whom an individual is ‘tied’ for a lifetime through interlocking family relationships (White, 2001).
Kastner (2004) through ‘Rage against the Darkness: Episode 2: Bunny & Leona’ displays the importance of sibling relationships in later life by expressing various themes amongst Leonna and Bunny. Common themes in the motion picture include the social support which siblings offer each other, personal social networks affect the relationship among siblings, and assistance in everyday life provided by each sibling.
Social support between siblings
Common points made by the literature support the relationship among Leonna and Bunny. Many researchers believe that siblings may be the primary source of social support in later life, and can be considered as ‘insurance policy’ when support from other sources fail (Hochsild, 1973). Siblings may be the greatest potential source for social and psychological support for older people (Gold, 1990).
Leonna and Bunny in the motion picture exhibit an intimate sibling relationship, which can be described as being emotionally interdependent, psychologically involved, caring, assisting, and accepting of each other’s natures (Gold, 1989). They shared a long history of personal family experiences, and there is a parallel connection between the two (Bedford,
Even if Leonna and Bunny are apart, they are always missing each other’s presence and are ecstatic once they meet. White (2001) states that despite the distance between siblings, they provide something that other recent family members are not able to. Bunny, even though she has four sons, she feels like no-one cares for her, yet her sister, for the first time came from her retirement home to see her at the hospital (Kastner, 2004). The sister-sister sibling relationship, according to Cicirelli (1991) provides the most emotional support, as compared to brother-sister or brother-brother. Although, it is suggested that there may be a great deal of tension or even volatility between sisters (Bedford, 1989; Downing, 1988). An example of such a situation in the motion picture occurred...