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Tag: Research Methodology & Theory

A Review of Screening Tools for Early Detection of Dementia

The early detection of dementia may have significant benefits, allowing individuals in the early stages of cognitive decline to make decisions for the future, or to begin therapies to manage memory decline. Because of this, there is a need for dementia screening tools that can be used by clinicians who work with older adults but who may not have training in neuropsychology or other...

Women & the Meaning of “Age” in Bhubaneswar, India

The meaning of “old age” can vary tremendously across time and across cultures, profoundly influencing how we order our lives. It can even vary within communities and families. Anthropologist Usha Menon has conducted long-term ethnographic research on the role of aging in women’s lives in Bhubaneswar, a city famous for its Hindu temples, in the Indian state of Orissa. A recent...

Generativity: Contributing to Others May Enhance Well-Being

Scholars of the life course have long hypothesized that generativity, or constructive activity that benefits others, is important to mid- and later-life human development. (Examples of generativity include parenting or grandparenting, social activism, or tending a community garden.) Studies have suggested that the perception of generativity—that is, feeling that one is useful to...

Defining “Healthy Aging”

The concept of “successful aging,” as coined by gerontologists Rowe and Kahn, has been influential in gerontology and has advanced scholarly understanding of healthy aging. This definition states that individuals are successfully aging if they are: free of disease; can function at a high physical and cognitive level; are socially engaged; and are productive. Critics of this model...

Building Evidence for Dementia Prevention

As was the case in 2010 when the National Institutes of Health issued a consensus statement on the prevention of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, there remains a lack of firm evidence for dementia prevention. Because of the difficulties in studying this phenomenon, no modifiable risk factors for dementia have been definitively established, and no pharmaceutical or nutritional...

Measuring Physical Resilience

Resilience is the ability to adaptively respond to challenges and adverse events. There are many types of resilience—emotional resilience, for example, is one form of resilience important for managing stress—and many measures of resilience used by researchers to understand how individuals can actively respond to adversity. A form of resilience that is particularly relevant to the...

Understanding Developmental Time’s Effects on Biological & Cognitive Aging

When we use the word “age” in common speech, we are usually referring to our chronological age, or the number of years since our birth. When medical researchers talk about “aging,” they usually refer to processes of biological maturation or decline that occurs over time. Of course, these two ideas of aging are not identical—individuals biologically develop very differently....

Sense of Personal Control and Physical Well-Being: A Cross-national Study

Researchers have hypothesized that older adults who have a strong sense of personal control may likely live healthier and longer lives. More specifically, older adults who feel they can determine the outcome of their own life—in contrast to those who feel their life is pre-determined or out of their control—may be healthier in mind and body. Studies in the United States have...

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