Understanding Well-Being in the Oldest Old

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9780511920974: Understanding Well-Being in the Oldest Old

The demographic and social structure of most industrialized and developing countries are changing rapidly as infant mortality is reduced and population life span has increased in dramatic ways. In particular, the oldest-old (85+) population has grown and will continue to grow. This segment of the population tends to suffer physical and cognitive decline, and little information is available to describe how their positive and negative distal experiences, habits, and intervening proximal environmental influences impact their well-being, and how social and health policies can help meet the unique challenges they face. Understanding Well-Being in the Oldest Old is the outcome of a four-day workshop attended by U.S. and Israeli scientists and funded by the U.S.-Israel Bi-National Science Foundation to examine both novel and traditional paradigms that could extend our knowledge and understanding of the well-being of the oldest old. This volume engages social scientists in sharing methods of understanding, and thereby possibly improving, the quality of life of older populations, especially among the oldest old.

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Book Description:

The oldest-old (85+) population of most industrialized and developing countries has seen rapid growth in recent years. This segment of the population tends to suffer physical and cognitive decline, and little information is available to describe how their positive and negative distal experiences, habits, and intervening proximal environmental influences impact their well-being. This volume examines both novel and traditional paradigms that could extend our knowledge and understanding of the well-being of the oldest old.

About the Author:

Leonard W. Poon is University of Georgia Distinguished Research Professor and Professor of Public Health and Psychology. He is also Director of the Institute of Gerontology and the Georgia Geriatric Education Center, Chair of the Faculty of Gerontology and Executive Director of the International Centenarian Consortium. He was Director of the National Institute of Health's funded Georgia Centenarian Study from 1988 to 2009. Dr Poon's primary research interests are longevity and survival of the oldest old by using a multidisciplinary approach to examine the contributors and predictors of functional capacities, life satisfaction, quality of life, personality and ability to cope, as well as genetics, environment and neuropathological contributions to longevity. His other research interests are on normal and pathological changes in memory and learning, the impact of exercise on cognition, and clinical diagnosis of early dementia. He has more than 33 research grants and has published more than 160 articles and books.

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield is a professor in the Department of Health Promotion at Tel Aviv University and a professor at the George Washington University Medical Center. She is also Chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Director of the Herczeg Institute on Aging at Tel Aviv University and was previously Director of the Research Institute at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. Her awards include the Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions in Gerontological Research from the Maryland Gerontological Association (1994), the Barry Reisberg Award for Alzheimer's Research for advances in non-pharmacologic research and clinical treatment from Hearthstone Alzheimer's Family Foundation (2003) and the award in appreciation of outstanding contribution from Psychologists in Long Term Care (2007). She has published more than 250 articles and books and is the co-editor of Satisfaction Surveys in Long-Term Care (with F. K. Ejaz and P. Werner). She is a highly cited researcher as listed by the ISI.

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