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Sociology Of Aging Research Paper Topics

This guide lists selected print and electronic information sources on special topics in Gerontology which are available to SFU faculty, students, and staff.  Check the Library Catalogue to find additional materials at the SFU Library, as well as the Gerontology Course Guides for additional sources. If you do not find what you need, contact Nina Smart, the Liaison Librarian for Gerontology, 778.782.5043nsmart@sfu.ca.

Alzheimer's disease

Websites

Books

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Elder abuse

Websites

Books

  • Aging, ageism and abuse: moving from awareness to action [online or print]
  • Elder abuse detection and intervention : a collaborative approach [online or print]
  • Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America [online or print]

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Health and health promotion

Websites

See also:GERO 407 Nutrition and Aging

Books

  • Encyclopedia of health and aging [online or print]
  • Ebersole and Hess' gerontological nursing & healthy aging [print]
  • The Gale encyclopedia of senior health : a guide for seniors and their caregivers [online or print]
  • Health promotion and aging : practical applications for health professionals (online (2006 ed)  or print]

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Housing and built environment

Websites

Books

  • Housing decisions in later life [online or print]
  • Universal design handbook [online or print]
  • Guide to Canadian healthcare facilities [print]  Facilities listed by province, then by town or city.  Codes include L = Long term care centre and R = Retirement home/resource centre

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Browse ejournals:
Journal of housing and the built environment and Journal of housing for the elderly

Older learners

Websites

  • Road Scholar "Adventures in lifelong learning"
  • University of the Third Age (UK)   "A self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment providing educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment"

Book

Improving learning in later life [online or print]

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Older workers and Retirement

Websites

Book

Canada's retirement income programs : a statistical overview [online or print]

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Psychology of aging

Website

  • Aging Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Aging American Psychological Association

Books

  • APA handbook of clinical geropsychology [print]
  • Handbook of assessment in clinical gerontology [online or print]
  • Handbook of geriatric assessment [print] 
  • Handbook of the psychology of aging [online or print]                                                                                                                                                                                  

See also:Gero 409 Mental Health and Aging course page

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Seniors information

Websites

  • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) "A nonprofit, nonpartisan national organization dedicated to enriching the experience of aging; membership is open to people age 50 or older"
  • HealthAging.org  (US) Health information for seniors
  • CARP Canadian Association of Retired Persons
  • Resources for Seniors Government of Canada site
  • Seniors BC
  • Enquiry BC"For contacting the provincial program, service or person that you need to speak to"
  • Alliance for Aging Research US "dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health."
  • SeniorNet  US "To provide older adults education for and access to computer technologies to enhance their lives and enable them to share their knowledge and wisdom"
  • Senior Citizens Resource Center US
  • Times Goes By "What it's really like to get older"; this elderblog also links to other seniors blogs

Social and sociological issues

Websites

Books

  • Handbook of aging and the social sciences (online or print] Reviews research in topics such as diversity and heterogeneity, pensions, leisure and time use, geographic distribution and migration, and illness. 
  • A history of old age [print]
  • Understanding communication and aging : developing knowledge and awareness [print]
  • Ageing and diversity : multiple pathways and cultural migrations [print] 
  • Decoding the cultural stereotypes about aging : new perspectives on aging talk and aging issues [print]
  • Critical issues in social work with older people [print]

See also: individual GERO course pages, such as SA 420 Sociology of Aging, and GERO 406 Death and Dying

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Technology and aging

Websites

  • AGE-WELL  Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life
  • Tong Louie Living Lab Research projects "to assist elderly, disabled persons and health care workers to perform assorted daily living and work activities safely and independently."
  • Trace Center (University of Maryland) technology and disability research

See also:GERO 830 Technology and Aging

Books

For books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Women and aging

Websites

Books

  • Women ageing : changing identities, challenging myths [online or print]
  • Women as they age [print]

For more books on the subject, search the SFU catalogue under subjects such as:

Aging is the process of becoming older or more mature. Aging is a summary term for a set of processes, which contribute to health deterioration and ultimately to death with the passage of time. These proceeses are responsible for such manifestation as increasing risk of frailty, disability, morbidity (age-related degenerative diseases) and ultimately increasing mortality rates.
The study of aging is not simply the study of decline and dysfunction or of disease and disability; it is the study of the normal processes of development. Because of the growing population of people over 65 the subject of aging is getting increased attention.
The challenge we face today is that of extending the active, creative, productive, and healthy middle years of the life cycle. To meet this challenge we must strive to change negative attitudes toward old age and overcome stereotypes many people have about the elderly.
  • Age in Place - National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC)
    An informational resource to keep seniors active and healthy throughout their retirement years. A network of professionals can help you plan for future housing and care needs.
  • Alcohol, Drugs Dependency of Seniors - National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)
    A support organization for those who need assistance confronting the disease of alcoholism and drug dependence. There are many reasons elderly people may turn to alcohol or drugs in later life. Children grow up and leave home. It becomes necessary to give up a job or move to a smaller home. Friends grow fewer and farther apart. Physical health fails. A partner of many years gets ill or dies. The very real difficulties of aging can easily pile up and impel seniors toward alcohol or drugs. Or a person may have had a problem for a long time that has continued to get worse over the years. Information presented by the American National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).
  • Assisted Living Facilities
    An assisted living residence or assisted living facility (ALF) is a housing facility for people with disabilities or for adults who cannot or chose not to live independently. What is Assisted Living and independent living communities? How can I find top rated assisted living facility and senior care costs? Find assisted living facilities near you: Nursing Homes, Independent Living, CCRC, Home care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, and local assisted living communities.
  • Creative Retirement
    A not-for-profit organization devoted to life-long learning. Mental stimulation is a major factor in good health and longevity.
  • Dignity Foundation
    A dynamic organisation located in Bombay (India), and is doing a lot innovative projects for older people. It facilitates the ageing individual in identifying newer roles, newer activities, and undertake socially recognised purposes for making life meaningful.
  • ElderCare
    A financial management outfit helping Baby Boomers navigate the elder care maze. Presented by EFM, a small woman-owned business dedicated to providing information on, and assistance with, the issues and challenges faced in aging. You can participate in a forum for the elderly and their caregivers, or get personal advice.
    • Eldercare Locator
      The Eldercare Locator connects seniors to community services. It is public service of the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services.
    • Home Improvement Assistance
      Home improvements, modifications, and repairs help older adults maintain their independence and prevent accidents. It can range from simple changes, like replacing doorknobs with pull handles, to major structural projects such as installing a wheelchair ramp. These changes improve the accessibility, adaptability, and/or universal design of a home. Improving accessibility involves things like widening doorways and lowering countertop and light switch heights for someone who uses a wheelchair. Changes that do not require home redesign, such as installing grab bars in bathrooms, are adaptability features. Universal design is usually built in when a home is constructed. It includes features that are sturdy and reliable, easy for all people to use, and flexible enough to be adapted for special needs.
  • Elderimpact
    Empowers seniors against ageism by making handy the information they need to keep controlling their own lives. “We want technology to be accessible, we want social calendars to be bustling, and we want everyone to have access to the medical attention and other resources they need.”
  • HomeAdvisor
    A digital marketplace that connects homeowners with prescreened, local service professionals to complete home improvement, maintenance and remodeling projects
  • Life Span Calculators - Test Your Life Expectancy
    We can now expect to live longer than ever. That’s largely because death rates are declining for the leading causes of death, like heart disease, cancer and stroke. How long will you live?
    • Death Clock
      Have you ever asked yourself ‘when will I die?’ This advanced life expectancy calculator to accurately predicts the date of your death depending on where you live, how much you smoke and your lifestyle.
    • How Long Will I Live? - Blueprint Income | Quiz: How Long Will You Live? - Time
      This life expectancy calculator uses eight basic questions which are the most the most important risk factors in life. It is based on a statistical regression of more than 400,000 data samples. The data was collected by the National Institute of Health and AARP. Developed by two researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
    • Life expectancy calculator - John Hancock Insurance
      Are you prepared for the possibility of outliving your retirement income, meeting long-term care or disability needs? Use this tool to predict the average number of years you can expect to live - and talk to your financial professional about how life insurance can help you plan for today and well into the future. Indicators are: gender, age, smoking status, height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol (HDL), exercise, alcohol, and driving.
    • Lifespan Calculator - Northwestern Mutual How long you have already lived is one of the best predictors of how long you may live. Life expectancy has been increasing for years thanks to growing awareness of personal health maintenance and medical care that keeps on improving. Ever since records have been kept, women have outlived men.
    • Living to 100
      This calculator uses the most current and carefully researched medical and scientific data in order to estimate how old you will live to be. The calculator asks you 40 quick questions related to your health and family history, and takes about 10 minutes to complete. At the end, you will be asked to create an account to store your answers. In addition you will receive: (i) Personalized feedback for each of your answers. (ii) A Personalized To-Do list for you and your physician. (iii) A list of things you can do differently and how many years you will add if you do so. (iv) The option to sign up to take the calculator again so you can keep track of your answers and see if your calculated life expectancy gets better or worse. Created by Thomas, the founder and director of the New England Centenarian Study, the largest study of centenarians and their families in the world.
    • The Longevity Game
      Calculate how long you can expect to live based on life insurance industry research.
  • National Council for Aging Care (NCAC)
    Seniors haven’t reached the end: they’ve reached a new beginning. This American council was set up to help seniors start this new phase of their life on the right foot. Their mission is to help older adults who want to live independently, plan your finances, and take charge of their health care.
  • National Resource Center on LGBT Aging - New York, USA
    A technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults. The Center provides training, technical assistance and educational resources to aging providers, LGBT organizations and LGBT older adults.
  • Nederlands Kenniscentrum Ouderenpsychiatrie (NKOP)
    A partner for professionals working in mental health and aging. It functions as a tranfer point between producers and users of kwowledge and information from research, policy and practice.
  • Nursing Home Abuse Center
    The mistreatment of the elderly is defined as engaging in actions that intentionally harm or create a risk of some type of harm to an elderly person by a trusted individual or caregiver. Researchers do not know exactly how many elderly individuals are being abused or neglected. However, the problem of elder abuse seems to be worse among women who are 65 years and older. Overall, the older the person is, the more likely it is that the person will be abused. Evidence of abuse of the elderly may be overlooked by healthcare professionals because there is little training available in this area. The elder may be reluctant to report that they have been abused because they fear retribution or lack of continued care if they were to report it. The individual may also be unable to speak of the abuse due to language or communication barriers. This site educates the public on the risks of senior abuse in an attempt to save lives and rebuild shattered trust.
  • Pensioen
    An excursion in Dutch pension land. It is focused on pension advice for employers, works councils and entrepreneurs, and provides insight and background information on pensions in general. Pensioen.com is completely independent from insurance companies and pension funds: the information you find here is not colored by hidden interests. Editor: Ton Kunneman. (Dutch only)
  • Road Scholar
    Educational adventures for older adults looking for something different. The later years should be a time for new beginnings, opportunities and challenges. Elderhostel offers you a way to keep expanding your horizons with people who are interested in the same things you are. “Studying there is half the fun”. It contains searchable (seasonal) catalogs of international Elderhostel programs.
  • Senior Citizen Alcohol and Drug Rehab
    Presented by the Recovery Connection.
  • Senior.com
    Provides information for and about seniors. Includes pointers to travel sites, prime lifestyles, housing communities, health and wellness, online shopping, senior news, government programmes. Also includes chat forums. The entire site is searchable.
  • Senior Health Risk Calculators for Healthy Aging
    These calculators are a starting point for becoming an advocate for healthy aging. You can use them to assess an existing concern or even to develop effective vocabulary for speaking with your doctor. These online calculators do not replace a consultation with a qualified medical professional.
  • Senior Group Newsletter
    The monthly publication of an informal group of seniors, community-net senior section moderators, educators, senior service providers and others interested in how the net serves seniors and vice-versa. Editor: Art Rifkin.
  • SeniorGuidance.org
    Provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
  • SeniorNet
    A national American nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a community of computer-using seniors. SeniorNet provides adults 55 and older with information and instruction about computer technologies so that they can use their new skills for their own benefit and to benefit society. The site includes a library, links to learning centers, round tables, member discounts and more.
  • Seniors and Depression - SafeStars
    When people get older, we have to go through major life challenges such as suffering from chronic illnesses, coping with a loss of a family member or/and close friends, ending a professional career, moving to a caregiving facility, or losing mobility and independence. Many people believe that depression represents a normal consequence of aging and that it goes hand in hand with all of the above-listed challenges. However, this is a misconception. Even though depression is widespread among the elderly population, it is not a normal part of the aging process. Instead, it is a serious psychological illness that requires treatment.
  • Wikipedia
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
    [2015] World Report on Ageing and Health 2015
    Geneva, Switzerland. 30 September 2015.
    Key Facts
    • Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%.
    • By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years.
    • In 2050, 80% of older people will be living in low- and middle-income countries.
    “Populations around the world are rapidly ageing. Ageing presents both challenges and opportunities. It will increase demand for primary health care and long-term care, require a larger and better trained workforce and intensify the need for environments to be made more age-friendly. Yet, these investments can enable the many contributions of older people — whether it be within their family, to their local community (e.g. as volunteers or within the formal or informal workforce) or to society more broadly. Societies that adapt to this changing demographic and invest in Healthy Ageing can enable individuals to live both longer and healthier lives and for societies to reap the dividends.”
Books & Articles
    Gerontology
    Gerontology is the study of the aging process, or of later life. Gerontology involves the structured pursuit of understanding the effects of the passage of time on individuals and society, as well as what the experience of time means. It is devoted to the understanding and control of all factors contributing to the finitude of individual life.
  • Allen, Julie Ober
    [2016] Ageism as a Risk Factor for Chronic Disease
    In: The Gerontologist, 56(4): 610-614. 1 August 2016.
    Ageism is one of the most socially condoned and institutionalized forms of prejudice. Older adults are discriminated against in employment, health care, and other domains. Exposure to unfavorable stereotypes adversely affects the attitudes, cognitions, and behavior of older adults. Recurrent experiences with negative stereotypes combined with discrimination may make ageism a chronic stressor in the lives of older adults. The cumulative effects of chronic objective and subjective stressors and high-effort coping cause deterioration of the body, premature aging, and associated health problems such as chronic diseases. Although ageism is not experienced over the entire life course, as racism typically is, repeated exposure to chronic stressors associated with age stereotypes and discrimination may increase the risk of chronic disease, mortality, and other adverse health outcomes. Ageism warrants greater recognition, social condemnation, and scientific study as a possible social determinant of chronic disease.
  • Ameisen, Jean-Claude / Hervieu-Léger, Danièle / Hirsh, Emmanuel (eds.)
    [2003] Qu’est-ce que mourir?
    Paris: Le Pommier/Cité des sciences et de l’industrie.
    Researchers in the fields of biology, religious studies, history, medical ethics, philosophy, and sociology offer a popularized interpretation of “what is death and dying”. This book proposes three insights into the subject. (i) The image of the dead and the living, as presented in art history, is revisited through the genetics and biology discourses that have more recently challenged the traditional concepts of aging, as well as the very definition of clinical death. (ii) The experience of death is based on new ideologies that reassess the solitude and individualistic nature of the dying and the necessity of reestablishing the links between the dying and the living, as reiterating the cultural norm. (iii) The good death establishes a virtual breach between two types of mythical figures — the heroes and the saints — and the relational singularity of palliative care.
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
    • [2016] Psychology Has Important Role in Helping Older Americans as They Age
      Special issue of APA journal reviews psychology’s role in promoting health cognition, confronting ageism, ensuring retirement security.
    • [2017] Growing Mental and Behavioral Health Concerns Facing Older Americans
      As populations ages, the need for mental and behavioral health services continues to increase. Psychologists are playing a critical role in addressing these needs. Psychologists are studying and treating the mental and behavioral problems associated with growing old, such as loss of spouse, loss of mobility and independence, admittance to a long-term care facility and declining physical and sometimes mental health. Some of the most critical concerns facing older citizens today are highlighted in this article.
  • Anderson, Jeff
    [2014] The Quiet Epidemic of Senior Drug Abuse
    In: Senior Living Blog, 22.1.2014.
    The elderly may be the last population you’d imagine would have issues with drugs and alcohol. Think again. New data shows the number of seniors with drug problems are on the rise. But the causes are complex and the solutions aren’t easy. Informs about the scale and nature of senior drug abuse and misuse, signs of dependence and addiction in older citizens.
  • Ashliman, D.L. - University of Pittsburgh, USA
    [1997-2013] Aging and Death in Folklore
    For most pre-industrial cultures, life’s last chapter has been a bitter one. Surviving folklore reflects widespread resignation as to the inevitability of impoverishment, sexual impotence, failing health and vitality, and the loss of family and community status. No one expected the impossible. Such euphemisms as golden years and senior citizens did not exist. An analyses on the distrust of old people in folklore, widowhood, caring for old people, euthanasia and geronticide, the inevitability of senility and death, attempts to trick death, excessive grief, and death as a divine release.
  • Baars, Jan - University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, Netherlands
    • [1991] The challenge of critical gerontology: the problem of social constitution
      In: Journal of Aging Studies, 6: 219-243.
      The problem of social constitution is the principal theoretical challenge that is implicit in the different approaches to ‘critical gerontology’. The acknowledgement of a social constitution of both gerontology and aging contrasts with the conventional understanding of gerontology, which is dominated by an idealized concept of natural science as the representative of objective knowledge. The problem of social constitution can no longer be avoided in theoretical reflection on gerontology. The theoretical and practical relevance of this problem is illustrated at different levels of analysis.
    • [1994] Communes of elderly people: between independence and colonization
      In: Journal of Aging Studies, 8: 341-356.
      While it is generally assumed that elderly people want to live alone, at least as long as they are physically able, this is not always the case. Not only has the rapid growth of communes of elderly people in the Netherlands attracted international attention, it has also become a social policy issue. The government and institutional care providers tend to see them as informal homes for the aged, whereas the elderly who are involved in this see the communes as positive alternatives to traditional ideas on aging. Both the communes and the different reactions to them represent in a nutshell important developments concerning aging and the position of the aged in Western society, as well as major trends in the modernization process.
    • [2007] Social theory and social ageing - with C. Phillipson
      In: Bond, John / Peace, Sheila / Dittmann-Kohli, Ffreya / Westerhof, Gerben (eds.) [2007] Ageing in Society. 3rd Edition. SAGE. pp. 68-84.
      A comprehensive introduction to the study of aging, exploring the key behavioral and social science theories, concepts, and methods.
    • [2012] Aging and the Art of Living
      Johns Hopkins University Press. September 2012.
      In his meditation on aging in Western culture, Jan Baars argues that, in today’s world, living longer does not necessarily mean living better. He contends there has been an overall loss of respect for aging, to the point that understanding and ‘dealing with’ aging people has become a process focused on the decline of potential and the advance of disease, rather than the accumulation of wisdom and the creation of new skills. Baars shows how people in the classical periodless able to control health hazards had a far better sense of the provisional nature of living, which led to a philosophical and religious emphasis on cultivating the art of living and the idea of wisdom.
    • [2013] Ageing, Meaning and Social Structure — Connecting critical and humanistic gerontology - edited with Joseph Dohmen, Amanda Grenier & Chris Phillipson
      Policy Press (UK) / University of Chicago Press (USA). May 15, 2013 Edited by Jan Baars, Joseph Dohmen, Amanda Grenier, Chris Phillipson
      This critical discourse in gerontology contributes to understanding key social and ethical dilemmas facing ageing societies. It confronts and integrates approaches that have been relatively isolated from each other, and interrelates two major streams of thought within critical gerontology: (i) analyses of structural issues in the context of political economy and (ii) humanistic perspectives on issues of existential meaning. The chapters focus on major issues in ageing such as autonomy, agency, frailty, lifestyle, social isolation, dementia and professional challenges in social work and participatory research.
    • [2015] Time in Late Modern Ageing
      In: Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology, 2015.
      Human ageing is basically living in time. Therefore, the ways in which ageing is approached are strongly influenced by interpretations of what it is to live in time. Such interpretations are saturated with cultural meanings. The chronological (or rather, chronometric) concept of time that has become dominant in late modern societies appears to be purely instrumental and neutral. As such it not only obscures other forms of temporal orientations that are vital to understand ageing processes, but allows all kinds of cultural meanings (from ageist prejudice to political programs) to creep in, hiding behind the scientific prestige of statistics and exact measurements of people’s ages. There is a need for a broader and deeper understanding of what it is to live in time, and from that understanding, to begin to develop an inspiring and supportive culture of ageing.
      The Epicurean way of dying
      The Epicureans’ advice is to forget about death because you will never encounter it: as long as you are alive, death is not there and when death arrives, you will not be there anymore. This, however, is too easy. Somebody who lives a very long life will encounter death many times, through the loss of friends, partners, children, possibly grandchildren. Therefore the Stoics have a better answer: get acquainted with death and live every day of your life as if it were the last. Indeed, awareness of our mortality encourages us to savour the richness of the present moment” [Baars 2017].
    • [2017] What Makes Life Precious
      In: Aging Horizons, January 1, 2017.
      The prospect of dying has always fascinated and haunted human beings. Today, scientists are talking about treatments that could expand average life spans by decades or may even outwit mortality. Philosopher Jan Baars says we have exalted longevity over what makes life worth living, and he explains that knowing that one will die soon is what makes life precious and meaningful. “As individuals live longer and people die mainly in old age, the typical vulnerabilities of life such as disability and disease have been driven out of ‘normal’ adult life that has become increasingly burdened with the next agenda item. The result is a staggering inability to appreciate what it means to live a finite life and an inability to identify with those who remind us of this condition. But we do not die because we have become old, but because we have been born as finite human beings: death is given with life.”
    • [2017] Human aging, finite lives and the idealization of clocks
      In: Biogerontology, 18(2): 285-292.
      Aging and time are interconnected because aging is basically living seen in a temporal perspective. This makes time an important concept in trying to explain aging. However, throughout modernity time has increasingly been identified as clock time: perfectly fit to measure ‘age’ as time since birth but failing to explain ‘age’ as an indicator of aging processes and even less adequate to grasp the lived time of human beings. The clock is a cultural idol of instrumentalist perfection — it has led to approaching human aging in terms of maintenance and repair, inspiring a neglect and depreciation of human vulnerability. The instrumentalist culture of late modern society, including its health cure system, has difficulties to relate to the elusive but inevitable limitations of finite life. This tendency is supported by outspoken approaches in biogerontology indulging in perspectives of infinite human lives; a message that is eagerly consumed by the mass media. Moreover, as most people can be expected to survive into old age, thinking about finitude is easily postponed and reserved for those who are ‘really old’. Instead of reducing aging to the opposite or mere continuation of vital adulthood, it should be seen as something with a potentially broad and deep significance: a process of learning to live a finite life.
    • [2017] Aging: Learning to Live a Finite Life
      In: The Gerontologist, Volume 57(5): 969-976. 1 October 2017.
      Life expectancies have risen impressively during the last century. But this has not led to much interest in these new horizons of aging. The instrumentalist culture of late modern societies, including its health cure system, has clearly difficulties to relate to the elusive but inevitable limitations of finite life. Most people can be expected to survive into old age. Therefore the thinking about finitude is easily postponed and reserved for those who are ‘really old’. A meaningful and realistic understanding of aging needs to include a confrontation with the finitude of life. Instead of reducing aging to the opposite or continuation of vital adulthood, it should be seen as something with a potentially broad and deep significance: a process of learning to live a finite life. The author contributes to this cultural repositioning of aging by presents a philosophical exploration of finitude and finite life. Among the discussed topics are the Stoic and Epicurean ways of living with death but also the necessity to expand the meaning of ‘finitude’ beyond mortality. Individualistic or existentialist interpretations are criticized because finite lives presuppose a social world in which they emerge and on which they depend. Aging —the most important experiential source of knowledge about what it is to live a finite life— is neglected by the same culture that needs its wisdom.
  • Bookwala, Jamila
    [2016] (ed.) Couple Relationships in the Middle and Later Years: Their Nature, Complexity, and Role in Health and Illness
    Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 16 May 2016.
    What factors influence the nature and quality of today’s older couple relationships, and what are the complex links between relationships and health? The authors present the latest theoretical, methodological, and empirical perspectives in the field of middle-age and older couple relationships. The book covers a wide variety of topics: marital quality, the impact of health concerns, loneliness, chronic disease management, couple negotiation of everyday tasks, coping across the lifespan, and the prevalence and visibility of nontraditional older couple relationships such as same-sex relationships and ‘living apart-together’ relationships. Implications for couples therapy and policy are included.
    Review by:
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel
    [2013] Myths, scientific evidence and economic policy in an aging world
    In: The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 1-2: 3-15. November 2013.
    Many people are afraid of aging — understandably of individual aging, but also of population aging. The expected demographic change is called an age bulge, pension systems are at the verge of collapse, economic growth of Old Europe will come to a halt for decades and society is expected to end up in a ‘war between generations’. All this creates anxiety, while active aging is seen by many as a pure political euphemism. Much of this negative attitude is generated by a set of myths about individual and population aging that are not backed and often squarely contradicted by evidence. The communication of scientific evidence from the economics of aging is important in order to demystify popular fallacies. What are the more subtle mechanisms behind these fallacies? And where is more data and research needed to fully understand the economics of aging?
  • Burke, Deborah M. / Shafto, Meredith A.
    [2004] Aging and Language Production
    In: Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(1): 21-24. February 2004.
    The ability to produce the spoken forms of familiar words declines with aging. Older adults experience more word-finding failures, such as tip-of-the tongue states, than young adults do. This and other speech production failures appear to stem from difficulties in retrieving the sounds of words. A parallel age-related decline appears in retrieving the spelling of familiar words. Models of cognitive aging must explain why these aspects of language production decline with aging whereas semantic processes are well maintained. The authors describe a model wherein aging weakens connections among linguistic representations, thereby reducing the transmission of excitation from one representation to another. The structure of the representational systems for word phonology and orthography makes them vulnerable to transmission deficits, impairing retrieval.
  • Chappell, Neena / Penning, Margaret J.
    [2010] Sociology of Aging in Canada: Issues for the Millennium
    In: Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, 20(S1): 82-110. 29 November 2010.
    This selective review of sociological gerontology in Canada suggests that the sociology of aging has not differentiated itself by the topic studied or by its applied and empirical focus, but rather in its unique perspective that reveals the importance of social structures for the personal and private experience of aging. Sociological gerontology rejects deterministic assumptions of inevitability. The importance of relating the personal to the public and of continuing a critical examination of existing trends will continue into the future. An additional challenge will be the generation of new knowledge on how to transform institutions so that they better enhance the quality oflife of seniors. This includes the identification of support of family structures and community environments, as well as more appropriate health and income security policies.
  • Clarke, Edward J. / Preston, Mar / Raksin, Jo / Bengtson, Vern L.
    [1999] Types of Conflicts and Tensions Between Older Parents and Adult Children
    In: The Gerontologist, 39(3): 261-270. 1 June 1999.
    Many studies have advanced our knowledge concerning cross-generational cohesion, solidarity, and exchanges of support in aging families; however, little research has focused to date on conflicts in these relationships. We know that conflict, as well as solidarity, is part of any intergenerational relationship over time, and that conflict may become a dominant theme of some aging families. What are the most common themes of conflict between aging parents and their adult children? Six types emerged in a qualitative analysis of survey data: conflicts over (1) communication and interaction style; (2) habits and lifestyle choices; (3) child-rearing practices and values; (4) politics, religion, and ideology; (5) work habits and orientations; and (6) household standards or maintenance. There were generational differences: parents most often listed conflicts over habits and lifestyle choices, whereas children cited communication and interaction style. These results suggest a new agenda for gerontological research: intergenerational conflict in the context of solidarity within aging families.
  • Cuaresma, Jesus Crespo / Lábaj, Martin / Pružinský, Patrik
    [2014] Prospective ageing and economic growth in Europe
    In: The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 3: 50-57. April 2014.
    An empirical assessment of the role played by prospective ageing measures as a predictor of income growth in Europe. It shows that prospective ageing measures which move beyond chronological age and incorporate changes in life expectancy are able to explain better the recent long-run growth experience of European economies. The improvement in explanatory power of prospective ageing indicators as compared to standard measures based on chronological age is particularly relevant for long-run economic growth horizons.
  • Curl, Angela L. / Bibbo, Jessica / Johnson, Rebecca A.
    [2017] Dog Walking, the Human-Animal Bond and Older Adults’ Physical Health
    In: The Gerontologist, 57(5): 930-939. 1 October 2017.
    This study explored the associations between dog ownership and pet bonding with walking behavior and health outcomes in older adults. Dog walking is associated with lower body mass index, fewer activities of daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits, and more frequent moderate and vigorous exercise. People with higher degrees of pet bonding are more likely to walk their dog and to spend more time walking their dog each time, but they report walking a shorter distance with their dog than those with weaker pet bonds. Dog ownership (by itself) is not associated with better physical health, but dog walking is associated with better health and health behaviors. The study provides evidence for the association between dog walking and physical health. The relationship with one’s dog may be a positive influence on physical activity for older adults.
  • Davis, Adrian / McMahon, Catherine M. / Pichora-Fuller, Kathleen M. / Russ, Shirley / Lin, Frank
    [2016] Aging and Hearing Health: The Life-course Approach
    In: The Gerontologist, 56(2): S256-S267. 1 April 2016.
    Sensory abilities
    Sensory abilities decline with age. More than 5% of the world’s population, approximately 360 million people, have disabling hearing loss. In adults, disabling hearing loss is defined by thresholds greater than 40 dBHL in the better hearing ear.
    Hearing disability is associated with numerous health issues, including accelerated cognitive decline, depression, increased risk of dementia, poorer balance, falls, hospitalizations, and early mortality. There are also social implications, such as reduced communication function, social isolation, loss of autonomy, impaired driving ability, and financial decline. The onset of hearing loss is gradual and subtle, first affecting the detection of high-pitched sounds and with difficulty understanding speech in noisy but not in quiet environments. Delays in recognizing and seeking help for hearing difficulties are common. Age-related hearing loss has no known cure, and technologies (hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive devices) improve thresholds but do not restore hearing to normal. Hhealth care for persons with hearing loss and people within their communication circles requires education and counseling, behavior change, and environmental modifications. The authors consider the causes, consequences, and magnitude of hearing loss from a life-course perspective. They examine the concept of hearing health, how to achieve it, and implications for policy and practice.
  • Degnen, Cathrine
    [2015] Socialising place attachment: place, social memory and embodied affordances
    In: Ageing & Society, 24 June 2015.
    The significance of place attachment for later life has been convincingly demonstrated. Scholars have offered useful models that help account for the depth of feeling bound up in place attachment in later life, how this attachment is achieved, and its relevance for belonging and identity. To date, however, this focus has largely been on the individual level of experience. This article draws on sociological and anthropological perspectives to consider how place attachment is forged and experienced in dynamic interaction with other entities and other processes: how place attachment is also a collective, relational and embodied process, caught up and experienced via social memory practices and sensorial, bodily knowledge.
  • Eurostat
    [2012] Active Ageing
    Special Eurobarometer 378. January 2012.
    On the occasion of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (European Year 2012), the European Commission has carried out an extensive survey on active ageing in order to understand citizens’ views and attitudes towards older people, the contribution of older people in the workplace and society, and how to best promote the active role of older people in society. The key question is how to secure good social protection in an increasingly challenging economic and demographic context. One of the key results of the Eurobarometer survey is that 61% of Europeans support the idea that people should be allowed to continue working once they have reached the official retirement age, and 53% reject the idea of a compulsory retirement age. One third of Europeans state that they would like to continue working after they reach the age when they are entitled to a pension. .
  • Ferraro, Kenneth F. / Shippee, Tetyana Pylypiv
    [2009] Aging and Cumulative Inequality: How Does Inequality Get Under the Skin?
    In: The Gerontologist, 49(3): 333-343. 1 June 2009.
    Drawing from cumulative disadvantage and life course theories this article develops a new theory for the social scientific study of aging. Five axioms of cumulative inequality (CI) theory are articulated to identify how life course trajectories are influenced by early and accumulated inequalities but can be modified by available resources, perceived trajectories, and human agency. The concept of cumulative inequality holds promise for integrating additional disciplinary approaches to the study of aging including, but not limited to, biology, epidemiology, and immunology. The applicability of CI theory to gerontology is illustrated in research on the early origins of adult health. Primary contributions of the theory to gerontology include greater attention to family lineage as a source of inequality; genes, gestation, and childhood as critical to early and enduring inequalities; the onset, duration, and magnitude of exposures to risk and opportunity; and constraints on generalizations arising from cohort-centric studies.
    Five axioms of cumulative inequality theory
    Axiom 1: Social systems generate inequality, which is manifested over the life course through demographic and developmental processes.
    Axiom 2: Disadvantage increases exposure to risk, but advantage increases exposure to opportunity.
    Axiom 3: Life course trajectories are shaped by the accumulation of risk, available resources, and human agency.
    Axiom 4: The perception of life trajectories influences subsequent trajectories.
    Axiom 5: Cumulative inequality may lead to premature mortality; therefore, nonrandom selection may give the appearance of decreasing inequality in later life.
  • Gems, David
    [2011] Macroscope: Aging: To Treat, or Not to Treat?
    In: American Scientist, 99(4): 278-280. July-August 2011. The cause of aging remains one of the great unsolved scientific mysteries. Should we try to ‘cure’ aging? The progress in our understanding raises the prospect that treatments might one day be feasible. Yet aging is not just another disease. And the prospect of treating aging is extraordinary in terms of the potential impact on the human condition. So, would it be ethical to try to treat it? Biologists use the term senescence for the increasing frailty and risk of disease and death that come with aging. Senescence is a process involving dysfunction and deterioration at the molecular, cellular and physiological levels. This endemic malfunction causes diseases of aging. Even if one ages well, escaping the ravages of cancer or type II diabetes, one still dies in the end, and one dies of something. In evolutionary terms, aging appears to serve no real purpose, meaning it does not contribute to evolutionary fitnes. So the more precise question at hand is this: Is human senescence a disease?
  • Gendron, Tracey L. / Welleford, E. Ayn / Inker, Jennifer / White, John T.
    [2016] The Language of Ageism: Why We Need to Use Words Carefully
    In: The Gerontologist, 56(6): 997-1006. 1 December 2016.
    Ageism, in the form of pervasive negative attitudes about older persons, is widely accepted and normative for most cultures. Language carries and conveys meaning which feeds assumptions and judgments that can lead to the development of stereotypes and discrimination. The authors closely examined the specific language that is used to communicate attitudes and perceptions of aging and older adults. Three hundred fifty-four tweets of 236 students were qualitatively analyzed to explore language-based age discrimination. Twelve percent of the tweets were found to contain discriminatory language. Thematic analysis of the biased tweets identified 8 broad themes describing language-based age discrimination: (i) assumptions and judgments, (ii) older people as different, (iii) uncharacteristic characteristics, (iv) old as negative, (v) young as positive, (vi) infantilization, (vii) internalized ageism, and (viii) internalized microaggression. The language of ageism is rooted in both explicit actions and implicit attitudes. It is therefore highly complex and difficult to identify and rectify language-based age discrimination.
  • Fiori, Francesca / Graham, Elspeth / Feng, Zhiqiang
    [2017] Household changes and diversity in housing consumption at older ages in Scotland
    In: Ageing & Society, 11 September 2017.
    housing adjustments in later life can be understood by investigating the role of four key lifecourse transitions experienced by older individuals and their households: (i) changes in health, (ii) retirement, (iii) union transitions and (iv) adult children leaving the household. This study examines who moves and, for movers, whether they adjust their housing size in response to changes in their personal and household circumstances. In particular, the study explores diversity in housing consumption at older ages by investigating whether the triggers of upsizing or downsizing differ across tenure groups. The majority of older adults in Scotland do not change their place of residence. For the minority who do move, all four lifecourse transitions are significant triggers for residential relocation.
  • Harper, Sarah - Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, UK
    • [2004] (ed.) Families in Ageing Societies: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach
      Oxford University Press. September 2004.
      Western families are undergoing considerable change. The demographic ageing of societies is increasing the number of living generations, and decreasing the number of living relatives within these generations. These ageing societies are also seeing an ageing of some life-transitions, with individuals choosing to delay full economic independence from parents, formal adult union through marriage or committed long-term cohabitation, and parenting. Such demographic change is occurring within the context of a variety of new kin structures-stepfamilies, ethnic minority families, single-parent families, cohabiting couples. This book takes an inter-disciplinary research approach to consider the implications of demographic ageing for European and American families.
    • [2006] Ageing Societies: Myths, Challenges and Opportunities
      Routledge. 1 January 2006.
      Demographic ageing is a reality: within 25 years half the population of Western Europe will be over 50, one quarter over 65, and the Less Developed Countries will contain one billion elderly people. Harper examines the myths, challenges and opportunities behind these figures. She explores three areas: (i) the growing necessity for extending economic activity into later life and the implications of societal ageing for the intergenerational contract and the provision of social security; (ii) the changes in modern families and the implications the they have for the provision of support and care for the ageing population; (iii) the biggest demographic challenge of all: ageing in the Less Developed Countries where there is little or no infrastructure to provide long-term care or social security. Harper highlights the opportunities of an ageing population for a mature society. Age-integrated and flexible workforces, increased labour mobility, intergenerational integration, age equality and politically stable age-integrated societies are the potential benefits of a demographic aging.
    • [2007] Ageing in Asia: Asia’s Position in the New Global Demography - Edited with Roger Goodman
      Routledge. 18 September 2007.
      The authors analyse four key themes related to ageing: (i) the experience of old age; (ii) intergenerational relations; (iii) economics of and social policy for ageing; (iv) longevity and the culture of ageing. They examine how these issues are emerging in different regions of Asia, specifically, the former Soviet Union, South Asia, China, Japan and South-East Asia. These Asian cases studies are placed in the broader context of debates about, and policies on, ageing more generally. It demonstrates that the relationship between ageing and poverty is a complex one. Ageing can no longer be considered as simply a national question. We need to consider the implications of its global dimension in terms of issues such as human rights and quality of life.
    • [2010] The capacity of social security and health care institutions to adapt to an ageing world
      In: International Social Security Review, 63(3-4): 177-196. July 2010.
      Population ageing has been occurring in many countries within Europe, North America and elsewhere for a number of decades. The demographic transition crosses the globe, shifting populations from high fertility and mortality rates (large numbers of children and low life expectancies) to low fertility and mortality rates (small numbers of children and long life expectancies). Both the number and the proportion of older adults increases, and correspondingly the number and proportion of young people decreases. Recently the pace, size and global reach of such ageing has begun to be recognised, and the wider implications assessed. Population ageing poses a key policy challenge for social security and health care systems across the globe. Different governments will come to these considerations carrying with them contrasting demographic profiles, welfare regimes and institutional structures, and cultural systems. The future success of societies in their efforts to accommodate such demographic change will, to a large extent, rest with the capacity of social security and health care institutions to adapt to an ageing world.
    • [2011] Living longer and prospering? Designing an adequate, sustainable and equitable UK state pension system - with Kenneth Howse & Steven Baxter
      The Oxford Institute of Aging / Club Vita. January 2011.
      The population of the United Kingdom is ageing. Steep declines in mortality in middle and late life mean we have a much better chance of living to claim a state pension, and then to receive it for much longer than has ever previously been the case. Fertility rates have been below replacement level for more than forty years - so as we age there are fewer individuals in subsequent generations paying contributions to finance a growing outgo. The current state pension system will become unsustainable unless older people work for longer and the state pension age is raised possibly even higher than 66, as proposed recently by the government. The authors concludes that the government should consider introducing a variable state pension age to acknowledge the wide variations in life expectancy across the UK.
    • [2013] Future Identities: Changing identities in the UK - the next 10 years
      Government Office for Science. 21 January 2013.
      UK demographic change over the coming decade will continue, marked by a rise in the percentage of older people, a fall in percentage of children, and an increase in the median age of the UK population. This changing age composition (demographic ageing) of the UK population is being driven by falling fertility and increasing late life longevity. Population ageing has implications for the society, economy and polity. It is impacting upon the labour market, saving and consumption, families and households, networks and social interaction, health and welfare services, housing and transport, leisure and community behaviour. The knowledge of both longer lives and the ageing of the population is influencing not only social and economic policy and political decisions, but also the attitudes and behaviours of individuals.
    • [2013] Population-Environment Interactions: European migration, population composition and climate change
      In: Environmental and Resource Economics, 55: 525-541. June 2013.
      Harper addresses the collision of two twenty-first Century transitions: (i) the unprecedented change in the size, composition, density and distribution of the human population, and (ii) the rapid change in the earth’s natural environment, in part a response to the above. She argues that it is important to consider these aspects of population change and environment together in order to understand the reality of any mitigation that may be made. She explores the interaction of population composition and density with environmental change through addressing interactions between migration, ageing populations and climate change. The key population question facing the EU is that of the demographic deficit. How will the mitigating role of migration be affected by future climate change? Is migration is a valid policy approach in the context of Europe’s demographic deficit?
    • [2014] Demographic and Environmental Transitions
      In: Ian Goldin (ed.) [2014] Is the planet full? Oxford University Press. 15 July 2014. What are the impacts of population growth? Can our planet support the demands of the ten billion people anticipated to be the world’s population by the middle of this century? A greater proportion of these people will in real terms be wealthier than they are today and will demand a varied diet requiring greater resources in its production. Increasing demand for food will coincide with supply-side pressures: greater competition for water, land, and energy, and the accelerating effects of climate change. While it is common to hear about the problems of overpopulation, might there be unexplored benefits of increasing numbers of people in the world? How can we both consider and harness the potential benefits brought by a healthier, wealthier and larger population? May more people mean more scientists to discover how our world works, more inventors and thinkers to help solve the world’s problems, more skilled people to put these ideas into practice?
    • [2014] (ed.) International Handbook On Ageing And Public Policy - Edited with Kate Hamblin, Jaco Hoffman, Kenneth Howse & George Leeson
      Edward Elger Publisher. August 2014.
      The Handbook explores the challenges arising from the ageing of populations across the globe for government, policy makers, the private sector and civil society. It examines various national state approaches to welfare provisions for older people, and highlights alternatives based around the voluntary and third-party sector, families and private initiatives.
    • [2014] Economic and social implications of aging societies
      In: Science, 346(6209): 587-591. 31 Oct 2014.
      The challenge of global population aging has been brought into sharper focus by the financial crisis of 2008. Growing national debt has drawn government attention to two apparently conflicting priorities: the need to sustain public spending on pensions and health care versus the need to reduce budget deficits. A number of countries are consequently reconsidering their pension and health care provisions, which account for up to 40% of all government spending in advanced economies. Yet population aging is a global phenomenon that will continue to affect all regions of the world. By 2050 there will be the same number of old as young in the world, with 2 billion people aged 60 or over and another 2 billion under age 15, each group accounting for 21% of the world’s population.
    • [2016] How Population Change Will Transform Our World [1:15:52]
      July 2016.
      Predicting the shape of our future populations is vital for installing the infrastructure, welfare, and provisions necessary for society to survive. There are many opportunities and challenges that will come with the changes in our populations over the 21st century. Sarah Harper dispels myths such as the fear of unstoppable global growth resulting in a population explosion, or that climate change will lead to the mass movement of environmental refugees. Instead she considers the future shape of our populations in light of demographic trends in fertility, mortality, and migration, and their national and global impact. The different age profiles of different societies around the world impacts on issues such as economic development, health care, and migration, and also on individuals’ life opportunities.
    • [2016] (ed.) Critical Readings on Ageing in Southeast Asia (2 vols)
      BRILL; Lam edition. 15 December 2016.
      The 21st Century will be both the century of Asia and of ageing. The two trends will coalesce in south-east Asia over the coming decades. Old age in most parts of Southeast Asia is still predominantly defined by frailty and dependency, and less by structured retirement, though this is changing. As a result the two main concerns are health and care, still predominantly carried out by families, and economic support, only a small proportion of which is in the form of a pension. The region will need to ensure new policies, institutions, governance and economic structures to enable the transition of the region to maturity. The papers in this collection reveal that there is a growing research into the health, family and economics of ageing which will be essential to enable Southeast Asia to adapt to its ageing population
  • Higgins, Chester / Angelou, Maya
    Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging
    Eighty stunning portrait photographs of African-American men and women who exemplify the art of aging with energy, grace, wit, and style.
  • Hirshorn, Barbara A.
    [1991] Introducing the Demography of Aging: Relating Population Processes to the Aging Society
    In: Teaching Sociology, 19(2): 231-236. April 1991.
    The field of demography is concerned with the study of population size, geographic distribution, structure, and composition, as well as with the factors that affect these population characteristics. As a disciplinary subfield, the demography of aging focuses on the dynamic process of population aging, the hallmarks of which are a decreased fertility rate, an in creased proportion of the population in the older age groups, and an increased average or median age. The article gives a brief description of the substantive domain of the demography of aging, followed by illustrations of the range of perspectives used to teach the subject in the context of the sociology of aging.
  • Hodge, Gerald
    [2008] The Geography of Aging: Preparing Communities for the Surge in Seniors
    McGill-Queen’s University Press.
    An analysis of the coming increase in Canada’s seniors, its effect on the diversity of communities, and how to plan for it.
  • Hrostowski, Susan
    [2010] Diversity in Aging America: Making Our Communities Aging Friendly
    In: Race, Gender & Class, 17(3/4): 307-313.
    The demographics of virtually every country in the world are transforming societies in unprecedented ways. Accommodations for this burgeoning aging population must be made, not only at the federal level, but most especially at the community level, where the strain will be most keenly felt on social and physical infrastructures. The health and well-being of older adults and the community large will be assured only with enhancements made with the input of community members. Focus groups, forums, public hearings, and/or workshops and conferences should be held to provide opportunities for input. The author describes the aging friendly community movement and outlines the process and outcomes of one community’s conference, its first attempt at garnering the input of its experts and lay people in the effort to become more aging friendly.
  • Introduction to Sociology: Aging - Wikibooks
    Aging is both a biological and sociological process wherein human beings experience and accomplish stages of biological and social maturation. Aging may be seen as a relatively objective biological process whereby one becomes older and experiences varied biological developments. Aging may also be seen as a subjective series of social processes whereby people interpret, negotiate, and make sense of biological development in relation to existing conceptualizations of what it means to be a certain age. Aging is both biological and sociological: aging is a complex process of subjective biological and social realities intertwined with relatively objective biological and social standards that shift within and between historical and cultural periods.
  • Kearl, Michael - Trinity University, USA
    Social Gerontology and the Aging Revolution
    A fine designed site on aging problems in our time: general issues & resources; biological, pyschological, social psychological, sociological and cultural dimensions of aging; institutional impacts of the longevity revolution; economics of the aging revolution; the impact of the aging revolution on communities. A good site to start with, for all students of aging problems.
  • Kohli, Martin
  • Lamb, Sarah
    [2017] (ed.) Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession: Global Perspectives
    Rutgers University Press.
    Many people have pursued an inspirational vision of successful aging-striving through medical technique and individual effort to eradicate the declines, vulnerabilities, and dependencies previously commonly associated with old age. This bold new vision of successful, healthy, and active aging is highly appealing. But it also rests on a deep cultural discomfort with aging and being old. The authors explore how the successful aging movement is playing out across five continents. They offer a fresh look at a major cultural and public health movement of our time, questioning what has become for many a taken-for-granted goal-aging in a way that almost denies aging itself.
  • Lai, Daniel W.L.
    [2007] Attitudes of Elderly Chinese Towards Aging: An International Comparison
    In: International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 33(1): 79-97. Spring 2007.
    Little research is available on older Chinese’s attitudes toward aging in modern Chinese societies. This study examines attitudes toward aging of older Chinese in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taipei. Attitudes toward aging were measured by five statements on perception toward older people. Participants in Hong Kong and Taipei reported a less positive attitude than participants in Guangzhou. Differences in socio-cultural environment, quality of life issues, and family life circumstance are potential reasons for geographical differences.
  • Library Resources on Aging & Gerontology
    Switzerland: Univ. of Basel | Univ. of Bern | Univ. of Geneva
    USA: Boston Univ. | Univ. of Alaska Anchorage | Univ. of Delaware
    Wales: Swansea University
  • Longman, Phillip
    [2010] Global Aging
    In: Foreign Policy, 182: 52-58. November 2010.
    It’s true that the world’s population overall will increase by roughly one-third over the next 40 years, from 6.9 to 9.1 billion [U.N. Population Division]. But this will be a very different kind of population growth than ever before — driven not by birth rates, which have plummeted around the world, but primarily by an increase in the number of elderly people. The global population of children under 5 is expected to fall by 49 million as of mid century, while the number of people over 60 will grow by 1.2 billion. How did the world grow so gray, so quickly?
  • Maastricht Aging Study (MAAS)
    Determinants of cognitive aging. As people grow older, memory and many other cognitive functions decline. Is this true for everybody? In the Netherlands, about one fifth of all individuals aged over eighty years are demented. Thus the majority do not develop dementia. In fact, many elderly people perform equally well as young or middle-aged people on memory tests. These individuals are said to age successfully. What are the determinants of successful aging, what causes the age-related cognitive deficits seen in usual aging, and what are the determinants of pathological aging such as dementia? This research project comprises a number of studies into biological and psychosocial aspects of cognitive aging.
  • Magalhães, João Pedro de - University of Liverpool, UK.
    • [2015] Slowing down aging [11:39] - TedxGenth
      De Magalhães is a Portuguese scientist and futurist. His work at the Institute of Integrative Biology at University of Liverpool focuses on studying the aging process and how we can manipulate it to fend off age-related diseases and improve human health. His research focuses on understanding the genetic, cellular, and molecular mechanisms of ageing. De Magalhães shares with us the latest developments in his research and answers the most heated question: What is ageing and how do we prevent it? He helps to unlock the realities of a world where we can manipulate the biological machinery of ageing.
    • What is Aging? [4:56]
      Comic animation with João Pedro de Magalhães, summarizing the work of the Integrative Genomics of Aging Group at the University of Liverpool.
    • Why Do We Age?
      An overview of the predominant causal theories of aging. (i) Damage-Based Theories of Aging: theories of aging based on damage accumulation. (ii) Programmed Theories of Aging: theories of aging based on programmed events (genetics of aging).
    • What is Aging?
      An attempt to define aging. The different components of human aging are succinctly reviewed and several other key concepts in gerontology are defined.
    • Should We Cure Aging?
      Aging fosters sickness and disability, increases human suffering, and makes us more likely to die. Curing aging must be a top priority for society, yet there are also a number of possible objections to this endeavor. Most of these are unfounded myths that can be disproved while others raise relevant social, philosophical and ethical issues.
    • Anti-Aging Medicine
      Presents and discusses the most popular life-extension and anti-aging treatments. A number of products, including diets, drugs and supplements, are promoted to have anti-aging properties. Unfortunately, the hype is often undeserved. Magalhães reviews the most famous products aimed at delaying the aging process and the misconceptions in which most —but not all— are based. Future anti-aging therapies and some advice on healthy lifestyles is also included.
    • Curing Aging and the Science of Immortality
      Real anti-aging medicine does not yet exist. Yet, gerontologists progress with the aim of developing true anti-aging therapies that not only considerably extend lifespan and delay human aging but may eventually cure aging.
  • Mandairon, Nathalie / Didier, Anne
    [2010] The brain’s fight against aging
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(35): 15316-15317. 31 August 2010.
    The increasing number of elderly people in our society with their associated pathologies creates a need for better understanding of how the aged brain is different from the young brain. Very little is known about the cellular correlates of normal aging in the brain. Insights into structural alterations are essential to understanding the functional and cognitive changes associated with aging. Alterations of sensorial and cognitive performance appear with aging and affect quality of life. This is becoming an important societal and public health issue in our aging populations.
  • Marshall, Leni
    [2006] Aging: A Feminist Issue
    In: NWSA Journal, 18(1): vii-xiii. Spring, 2006.
    Ignoring the meaning and the politics of the lives of women beyond their reproductive years is a type of male thinking. Aging and ageism are central feminist issues. Feminist aging studies scholars often end up reinventing the wheel. Much popular feminist writing about aging contains serious theoretical flaws. For example, many suggest that revising the aging process means staying active — traveling, going back to school, becoming involved in their communities. Such advice values doing over being. This ‘act young, be young’ approach generates volumes of writing about aging, relatively little of which is useful feminist aging studies theory.
  • Marshall, Victor W.
    [1983] Generations, Age Groups and Cohorts: Conceputal Distinctions
    In: Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, 2(2): 51-62. October 1983.
    The sociology of age relations suffers from conceptual ambiguity and confusion in the area of age and generational relations. We need precise definitions and uses of the terms cohort, generation, age grade, age stratum, age group, and generation groups. Concrete or real definitional constructs are distinguished from nominal constructs and their advantages are described. Marshall calls for a return to the conceptualization of Mannheim about generations and a parallel conceptualization concerning age groups. The usefulness of this approach is discussed in terms of the political sociology of age relations.
  • Martin, George / LaMarco, Kelly / Strauss, Evelyn / Kelner, Katrina L.
    [2003] Research on Aging: The End of the Beginning
    In: Science New Series, 299(5611): 1339-1341. 28 Februari 2003.
    Highlights from the ‘end of the beginning’ of research on aging. The focus is on physiological mechanisms underlying processes of aging. Trough deciphering the biological underpinnings of processes of aging scientist will likely discover ways to extend the human life-span.
  • McConnell, Margaret
    [2013] Behavioral economics and aging
    In: The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 1-2: 83-89. November 2013.