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Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging

Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging
Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives

August 2003 | 440 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This book undertakes the difficult task of assembling an objective and holistic picture of human aging, including the physical aspects of aging, chronic disease, and health promotion in the later years, for students and professionals. The authors provide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary coverage of the demography of the aging population, theories of aging, and physical aging, including normal age-related changes, disease-related processes, and promotion of optimal aging. They also cover psychosocial aspects of aging, including mental health, stress and coping, and spirituality, as well as care giving in later years.


- a comprehensive approach, with coverage of psychosocial factors that affect physical health in addition to biological aspects of aging, thus providing integrated coverage of information from the fields of biology, psychology, and the social sciences

- coverage of issues in healthcare systems

- case studies in each chapter to augment student understanding with real-life examples

- discussions of methodological issues in some of the research presented to help students become more critical consumers of research and data.

1. Introduction & Basic Concepts
Basic Definitions  
Organization of the Book  
2. Demography of Aging
Aging in the World  
Population in the United States  
Demographic Factors and Rate of Aging  
3. Theories of Aging
Biological Theories of Aging  
Psychosocial Theories and Aging  
Psychosocial Factors and Aging  
4. Understanding Change in Aging Research
Basic Definitions  
Age-Related Designs  
Statistics for Assessing Change  
Statistics That Predict Change  
5. Aging of the Skin and Musculoskeletal System
The Skin  
Musculoskeletal System  
6. Aging of the Internal Organ Systems
Cardiovascular System  
Respiratory System  
Gastrointestinal System  
Renal/Urinary System  
7. Aging and the Regulatory Systems
Sensory Systems  
Nervous System  
Endocrine System  
Immune System  
8. Functional Health, Health Promotion, and Quality of Life
Functional Health  
Health Promotion in Older Adults  
Quality of Life  
9. Interface Between Physical and Mental Health
Personality Processes and Disease  
Alcohol and Aging  
Differentiating Mental and Physical Health Problems  
10. Stress, Coping, and Health
Coping with Stress  
11. Social Support, Health, and Aging
Characteristics of the Social Support Network  
Social Support, Morbidity, and Mortality  
12. What is Optimal Aging
Models of Optimal Aging  
Wisdom and Optimal Aging  
Religiosity, Spirituality, and Optimal Aging  
Ars Moriendi - The Art of Dying  
Author Index
Subject Index

"Gaining understanding of aging is one of the most complex issues facing twenty-first century science. This book addresses the complexity of the factors that interact and influence the course of our longer life expectancy….How we humans grow old is a product of our genetic background as members of a species and our families. But the genome expresses itself in physical and social environments that modulate the appearance of heredity traits. In a sense aging is an ecological problem in which the dynamics are often difficult to explain….This book brings information from the sciences together in a way that is rarely done…..It provides an integration of knowledge about the dynamics of aging and can promote wisdom about how we can modify the life course to our advantage."

James Birren
From the Foreward

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ISBN: 9780761922599

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