Resilience and Aging: Emerging Science and Future Possibilities (Risk) (Paperback)
Older aged adults face many adversities over the later life course. This edited volume will address the ways in which seniors bounce back from different types and combinations of adversity - termed "resilience". While research has been accumulating that identifies inherent abilities and external resources needed to adapt and navigate stress-inducing experiences among aging and older adults, gaps remain in understanding the unique elements and processes of resilience. A series of chapters included in this book will address several overarching questions: why do some older individuals/families/communities adapt to adversity better than others; what are modifiable behavioral protective/risk factors related to resilience; and how can we foster resilience at the individual/community level and which approaches show the most promise? The spectrum of aging-related challenges and responses addressed in this book include: mental health; physical/functional health problems; multimorbidity; socio-economic deprivation; social isolation and loneliness; cultural dimensions of loneliness; housing/homelessness problems; and environmental disasters. This book presents cutting-edge science at the conceptual, methodological, empirical and practice levels applied to emerging resilience sub-fields in gerontology. It will also present potential areas of future research, policy and practice linked to these areas.During a period of the most rapid population aging in the US, Canada and many other nations, coupled with heightened global socio-political change, extending our knowledge of resilience will help society to make important adjustments to maximize health and wellness of older individuals. Supporting and enhancing resilience through technological, social and/or community-level advances in geroscience will help those facing adversity to thrive by harnessing, stretching, and leveraging a wide array of potential resources. The promotion of healthier older populations has far-reaching consequences for health care and social/community support systems, both in terms of public health including pandemic response, and the development and implementation of innovations in treatment and practice guidelines.
Andrew V. Wister, PhD is Director of the Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University and Professor in the Department of Gerontology, where he spearheaded the development of the Masters and PhD programs. He is an internationally recognized expert on aging issues, policies, research and training. Dr. Wister has written extensively on healthy aging and health promotion. Substantive areas of research include baby boomer health dynamics; population aging and population health; resilience and aging; social isolation; and environmental adaptation among older adults. His research adopts an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing multiple methods, including mixed-methods, in order to disentangle the inherent complexity of aging over the life course. Dr. Wister has also been active in the Canadian Association on Gerontology, receiving the Distinguished Member Award in 2014 and is past Chair of the National Seniors Council of Canada. As the lead on the Simon Fraser University Data Collection Site and Computer Assisted Telephone Interview Site, Dr. Wister is an active core member of the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging (CLSA). Theodore D. Cosco, PhD began volunteering at age 12 at a long-term care facility, beginning what would become a life-long passion for gerontology and the aging process. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, Dr. Cosco examines a range of factors that promote healthy aging and resilience in older adults, from digital interventions to physical activity. He is an Assistant Professorship in the Department of Gerontology, Simon Fraser University and is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford. Dr. Cosco is a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society) trained in applied social research methods (MSc, Trinity College Dublin), and epidemiology (PhD, University of Cambridge). Recently, he received the Early Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association and European Health Psychology Society, as well as becoming the youngest recipient of the Canadian Association on Gerontology's Recognition Award for Excellence in Longitudinal Research in Honour of Betty Havens.