Successful Aging

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.24). 02/2006; 14(1):2-5. DOI: 10.1097/01.JGP.0000195222.93655.d1
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    • "Based on the results of the interviews with the participants, they all have a desire to live a healthy and balanced life, but the demands of living in urban settings and working to provide for their families prevents them from activities they believe will help them age well. Blazer (25) summarized the importance of learning from others on how to live a healthy life in his editorial: “We have the privilege of learning from our parents, our patients, and our mentors the true meaning of successful aging” (25, p. 5). Each participant understood the value and importance of aging well and looked up to family and community members who served as examples, but found it challenging to engage in the same activities and behaviors because of constraints and demands in their current work and home environment. "
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    ABSTRACT: There is a paucity of research on Alaska Natives and their views on whether or not they believe they will age successfully in their home and community. There is limited understanding of aging experiences across generations. This research explores the concept of successful aging from an urban Alaska Native perspective and explores whether or not they believe they will achieve a healthy older age. A cultural consensus model (CCM) approach was used to gain a sense of the cultural understandings of aging among young Alaska Natives aged 50 years and younger. Research findings indicate that aging successfully is making the conscious decision to live a clean and healthy life, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, but some of Alaska Natives do not feel they will age well due to lifestyle factors. Alaska Natives see the inability to age well as primarily due to the decrease in physical activity, lack of availability of subsistence foods and activities, and the difficulty of living a balanced life in urban settings. This research seeks to inform future studies on successful aging that incorporates the experiences and wisdom of Alaska Natives in hopes of developing an awareness of the importance of practicing a healthy lifestyle and developing guidelines to assist others to age well.
    08/2013; 72. DOI:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.21186
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    • "Vaillant (2002) considers wisdom to be an integral part of successful aging, although he believes that one need not be old to acquire/possess wisdom. Blazer (2006) has proposed that promotion of wisdom should be an important part of facilitating successful aging, although evidence-based techniques or tools to affect wisdom are not available at this time. As empirical study of wisdom is presently in its nascent stages there may be an opportunity to incorporate culture-specific elements in our definition and understanding of this elusive concept, and thereby position ourselves to design possible " interventions " to help enhance wisdom in culturally appropriate ways. "
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    ABSTRACT: The study of wisdom has recently become a subject of growing scientific interest, although the concept of wisdom is ancient. This article focuses on conceptualization of wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita, arguably the most influential of all ancient Hindu philosophical/religious texts. Our review, using mixed qualitative/quantitative methodology with the help of Textalyser and NVivo software, found the following components to be associated with the concept of wisdom in the Gita: Knowledge of life, Emotional Regulation, Control over Desires, Decisiveness, Love of God, Duty and Work, Self-Contentedness, Compassion/Sacrifice, Insight/Humility, and Yoga (Integration of Personality). A comparison of the conceptualization of wisdom in the Gita with that in modern scientific literature shows several similarities, such as rich knowledge about life, emotional regulation, insight, and a focus on common good (compassion). Apparent differences include an emphasis on control over desires and renunciation of materialistic pleasures. Importantly, the Gita suggests that at least certain components of wisdom can be taught and learned. We believe that the concepts of wisdom in the Gita are relevant to modern psychiatry in helping develop psychotherapeutic interventions that could be more individualistic and more holistic than those commonly practiced today, and they aim at improving personal well-being rather than just psychiatric symptoms.
    Psychiatry Interpersonal & Biological Processes 02/2008; 71(3):197-209. DOI:10.1521/psyc.2008.71.3.197 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to solicit the opinions of older adults about factors related to successful aging using focus group methods. Twelve focus groups were conducted with an average of six individuals per group. Participants included 72 community-dwelling older adults (age range: 60-99 years) recruited primarily from retirement communities in San Diego County, California. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory framework of "Coding Consensus, Co-occurrence, and Comparison." A total of 33 factors were identified, out of which four major themes emerged: attitude/adaptation, security/stability, health/wellness, and engagement/stimulation. Every focus group emphasized the need for a positive attitude, realistic perspective, and the ability to adapt to change. Security and stability encapsulated one's living environment, social support, and financial resources. General physical health and wellness were frequently mentioned, with mixed opinions on their necessity for successful aging. Finally, a sense of engagement, reflected in pursuit of continued stimulation, learning, feeling a sense of purpose in life, and being useful to others and to society, was considered a prominent aspect of successful aging. All four themes appeared to be interrelated such that engagement required a foundation of security and stability while positive attitude and adaptation strategies often compensated for impaired physical health. Older adults place greater emphasis on psychosocial factors as being key to successful aging, with less emphasis on factors such as longevity, genetics, absence of disease/disability, function, and independence.
    American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 04/2007; 15(3):194-201. DOI:10.1097/JGP.0b013e318030255f · 4.24 Impact Factor
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