In Narratives of Positive Aging, Amia Lieblich presents a qualitative study that explores the life narratives of elderly men and women who engage in practices of "positive aging." They belong to a spontaneous community that assembles daily, early in the morning, on a beach near Tel-Aviv, Israel. At the seaside, the elders practice various outdoor sports, and converse over coffee at the local café. Based on their narratives, procured by individual open-ended interviews, and the author's participant observation, the book explores the impact of routine, physical activity, and social relationships on successful aging. Lieblich additionally presents an analysis of the tension-minimizing discourse adopted at the café and the pleasant bubble-like environment it fosters amongst the community members. Finally, the book debates the adaptive role of narrating one's life story, and its perceived manifestation of wisdom. A combination of complete life stories and extracts of conversations recorded on the beach color every chapter. These texts are complimented and elucidated by a variety of academic claims, theories and findings concerning narratives and aging. This book, based on an Israeli field study, may be viewed both as a local case study as well as a lesson relevant to aging everywhere.
By thinking in terms of the geographies of mobilities, we are better able to understand the central importance of movements, rhythms and shifting emplacements over the life-course. This innovative book represents research from a new and flourishing multidisciplinary field that includes, among other things, studies on smart cities, infrastructures and networks; mobile technologies for automated highways or locative media; mobility justice and rights to stay or enter or reside. These activities, cadences and changing attachments to place have profound effects—first upon how we conduct or govern ourselves and each other via many social institutions, and second upon how we constitute the spaces in and through which our lives are experienced. This scholarship also has clear connections to numerous aspects of social and spatial policy and planning.
Examine the questions of “how,” “what,” and “why” associated with religiousness and spirituality in the lives of older adults! New Directions in the Study of Late Life Religiousness and Spirituality explores new ways of thinking about a topic that was once taboo but that has now attracted considerable attention from the gerontological community. It examines various approaches to methodology and definition that are used in the study of religion, spirituality, and aging. In addition, it explores the ways that gerontological research can highlight the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of older adults. The first section will introduce you to new ways of thinking about research methodology and data analysis that can be applied to studying the complexity of older adults' religious/spiritual practice and beliefs. You'll learn several approaches to the study of phenomena that are both personal and also deeply embedded in community. The second section addresses issues of definition, exploring important questions that call for critical reflection, such as: “What are we studying?” “What social and psychological influences shape our thinking about definition?” and “Do the definitions used by gerontologists match those held by older people?” The final section moves the study of religion, spirituality, and aging beyond a focus on health and mortality to examine well-being more broadly in the context of the life experiences of older adults. Here is a small sample of what you'll learn about in New Directions in the Study of Late Life Religiousness and Spirituality: structural equation modeling—a statistical method designed to capture the dynamics inherent in the passage of time feminist qualitative methods for studying spiritual resiliency in older women spirituality as a public health issue the differences between groups of older people in the way they define religion and spirituality the psychosocial implications of two types of religious orientation—“dwelling” and “seeking” older women's responses to the experience of widowhood and to the question of whether their religious beliefs were affected by the experience how social context influences our decisions and our interpretations of people's religious beliefs, behaviors, and experiences the ways that people caring for a spouse with dementia rely on religious coping a model that delineates three different ways people relate to God in coping—and a study that asks whether these types of coping produce different outcomes for caregivers how people adjust to bereavement as a function of their beliefs about an afterlife
From time to time we all tend to wonder what sort of “story” our life might comprise: what it means, where it is going, and whether it hangs together as a whole. In The Stories We Are, William Lowell Randall explores the links between literature and life and speculates on the range of storytelling styles through which people compose their lives. In doing so, he draws on a variety of fields, including psychology, psychotherapy, theology, philosophy, feminist theory, and literary theory. Using categories like plot, character, point of view, and style, Randall plays with the possibility that we each make sense of the events of our lives to the extent that we weave them into our own unfolding novel, as simultaneously its author, narrator, main character, and reader. In the process, he offers us a unique perspective on features of our day-to-day world such as secrecy, self-deception, gossip, prejudice, intimacy, maturity, and the proverbial “art of living.” First published in 1995, this second edition of The Stories We Are includes a new preface and afterword by the author that offer insight into his argument and evolution as a scholar, as well as an illuminating foreword by Ruthellen Josselson.
The prospect of increasing longevity has turned aging and old age into a topic of concern in Western societies. The discourse of age and the proliferation of narrative in contemporary media culture both transgress disciplinary boundaries. Addressing the "narratives of life" from different disciplinary angles this volume aims to explore the scope of a narrative gerontology. Aging and the stories that are told about it or from within are transnational and transcultural phenomena. While aging is thus a universal process, attention is also drawn to the categories of difference that it evokes: Historical, social and cultural differences as well as gender differences.
The many significant technological and medical advances of the 21st century cannot overcome the escalating risk posed to older adults by such stressors as pain, weakness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, memory and other cognitive deficits, hearing loss, visual impairment, isolation, marginalization, and physical and mental illness. In order to overcome these and other challenges, and to maintain as high a quality of life as possible, older adults and the professionals who treat them need to promote and develop the capacity for resilience, which is innate in all of us to some degree. The purpose of this book is to provide the current scientific theory, clinical guidelines, and real-world interventions with regard to resilience as a clinical tool. To that end, the book addresses such issues as concepts and operationalization of resilience; relevance of resilience to successful aging; impact of personality and genetics on resilience; relationship between resilience and motivation; relationship between resilience and survival; promoting resilience in long-term care; and the lifespan approach to resilience. By addressing ways in which the hypothetical and theoretical concepts of resilience can be applied in geriatric practice, Resilience in Aging provides inroads to the current knowledge and practice of resilience from the perspectives of physiology, psychology, culture, creativity, and economics. In addition, the book considers the impact of resilience on critical aspects of life for older adults such as policy issues (e.g., nursing home policies, Medicare guidelines), health and wellness, motivation, spirituality, and survival. Following these discussions, the book focuses on interventions that increase resilience. The intervention chapters include case studies and are intended to be useful at the clinical level. The book concludes with a discussion of future directions in optimizing resilience in the elderly and the importance of a lifespan approach to aging.
Narrative psychiatry empowers patients to shape their lives through story. Rather than focusing only on finding the source of the problem, in this collaborative clinical approach psychiatrists also help patients diagnose and develop their sources of strength. By encouraging the patient to explore their personal narrative through questioning and story-telling, the clinician helps the patient participate in and discover the ways in which they construct meaning, how they view themselves, what their values are, and who it is exactly that they want to be. These revelations in turn inform clinical decision-making about what it is that ails them, how they'd like to treat it, and what recovery might look like. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is the first comprehensive description of narrative psychiatry in action. Engaging and accessible, it demonstrates how to help patients cultivate their personal sources of strength and meaning as resources for recovery. Illustrated with vivid case reports and in-depth accounts of therapeutic conversations, the book offers psychiatrists and psychotherapists detailed guidance in the theory and practice of this collaborative approach. Drawing inspiration from narrative therapy, post-modern philosophy, humanistic medicine, and social justice movements - and replete with ways to more fully manifest the intentions of the mental health recovery model - this engaging new book shows how to draw on the standard psychiatric toolbox while also maintaining focus on the patient's vision of the world and illuminating their skills and strengths. Written by a pioneer in the field, The Art of Narrative Psychiatry describes a breadth of nuanced, powerful narrative practices, including externalizing problems, listening for what is absent but implicit, facilitating re-authoring conversations, fostering communities of support, and creating therapeutic documents. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry addresses mental health challenges that range from mild to severe, including anxiety, depression, despair, anorexia/bulimia, perfectionism, OCD, trauma, psychosis, and loss. True to form, the author narrates her own experience throughout, sharing her internal thoughts and decision-making processes as she listens to patients. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is necessary reading for any professional seeking to empower their patients and become a better, more compassionate clinician.
Healthy ageing has long been a neglected area of epidemiological research as the traditional focus has been on specific chronic diseases of older life. There is a growing consensus from scientists, research funders and policy makers that ageing itself needs to be studied from an interdisciplinary and life course perspective, to inform strategies for reducing the societal and individual costs of an ageing population. A Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing is a synthesis of life course perspectives in epidemiology and interdisciplinary perspectives in ageing research. It brings together expert investigators of maturing birth cohort and ageing studies, cross-cutting methodologists, and authorities in ageing research and knowledge transfer from across the world in one wide-ranging volume. Contributors discuss how aspects of healthy ageing are conceptualised, defined and measured; relate to each other; change across life; and are influenced by biological, psychological and social factors operating from early life onwards. They identify research gaps, and suggest how evidence from observational studies can be strengthened through improved study design and longitudinal analysis, thereby increasing the research contribution to practice or policy change. The book considers how we might delay or slow down the progressive, generalised impairment of function that occurs at the individual, body system and cellular levels, as people grow older. It also considers the determinants of wellbeing in older people, including personal fulfilment, positive emotions and social relationships. Broad in scope, discussing topics from genetics to psychological and social wellbeing, A Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing is a key resource for epidemiologists, social scientists, clinicians, public health physicians, policy makers and practitioners with a research interest in healthy ageing.
Narrative Analysis: Studying the Development of Individuals in Society aims to help researchers and students identify and evaluate the wealth of rationales, practices, caveats, and values of narrative inquiry for understanding human development. A rich collection of chapters articulates diverse, interdisciplinary perspectives within the integrative theme that identity and knowledge development occur in dynamic social environments. Editors Colette Daiute and Cynthia Lightfoot have brought together an internationally renowned team of experts in narrative analysis to create a volume perfect for qualitative researchers in sociology, psychology, social work, education, and anthropology. Students, professors, and experienced researchers will find the pedagogical elements and case studies perfect for course use and professional reference.
Over the last decade, the field of socio-emotional development and aging has rapidly expanded, with many new theories and empirical findings emerging. This trend is consistent with the broader movement in psychology to consider social, motivational, and emotional influences on cognition and behavior. The Oxford Handbook of Emotion, Social Cognition, and Problem Solving in Adulthood provides the first overview of a new field of adult development that has emerged out of conceptualizations and research at the intersections between socioemotional development, social cognition, emotion, coping, and everyday problem solving. This field roundly rejects a universal deficit model of aging, highlighting instead the dynamic nature of socio-emotional development and the differentiation of individual trajectories of development as a function of variation in contextual and experiential influences. It emphasizes the need for a cross-level examination (from biology and neuroscience to cognitive and social psychology) of the determinants of emotional and socio-emotional behavior. This volume also serves as a tribute to the late Fredda Blanchard-Fields, whose thinking and empirical research contributed extensively to a life-span developmental view of emotion, problem solving, and social cognition. Its chapters cover multiple aspects of adulthood and aging, presenting developmental perspectives on emotion; antecedents and consequences of emotion in context; everyday problem solving; social cognition; goals and goal-related behaviors; and wisdom. The landmark volume in this new field, The Oxford Handbook of Emotion, Social Cognition, and Problem Solving in Adulthood is an important resource for cognitive, developmental, and social psychologists, as well as researchers and graduate students in the field of aging, emotion studies, and social psychology.
This book explores the way older women are represented in society. Through close readings of novels by major 20th century novelists, compared with the more dominant representations of female ageing to be found in popular culture it suggests that they offer a feminist understanding of the 'invisible' woman sometimes lacking in feminism itself.
Narratives on Positive Aging: Recipes for Success highlights the true stories and enhanced writing of diverse contributors on subjects related to positive aging. Organized thematically, the various chapters address topics such as family life, storytelling, the influence of money and career, sexual identity, politics, and more, and the part these play in lives that continue to be well-lived as people age. Each chapter includes an original introduction to the chapter's theme, which places the stories in context. A series of essays and brief memoirs on multiple themes, and reflections for educators, written by educators, enable instructors to use the book most effectively in their courses. Each chapter ends with concluding thoughts and discussion questions for use in class or as writing prompts. The organization and subject matter of the book are appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students in gerontology. Narratives on Positive Aging is designed to serve equally well as a supplemental reader to primary texts on issues in gerontology, or as a unique stand-alone textbook. The story-telling narrative also makes the book of interest to lay readers in community groups or retreat settings.
Spiritual Resiliency In Older Women records the narratives of spiritually resilient older German and American women. The authors suggest how persons of all ages can gain maturity and spiritual coping by participating in communities based on faith, which acknowledge the emotion of spiritual experiences and integrate faith and close human relationships.
This advanced textbook covers issues of family ties and aging broadly, the goal being to provide an integrated and thorough representation of what we know from the current research. Whereas books on families and aging have traditionally focused on ties to a spouse and to children and grandchildren, Family Ties & Aging is more extensive and more reflective of contemporary society. The text includes groups and relationships that typically receive short shrift, exploring such neglected populations as single, divorced, and childless older people and their family relationships, as well as sibling relationships among the elderly, live-in partnerships not formalized by marriage, and the kinds of family ties forged by gay and lesbian persons over the life course. The book weaves the vast range of information we now have about the many facets of family relationships and aging into a critical, comprehensive, and integrated whole.
This handbook reviews existing theoretical perspectives and research findings on retirement, explores current and future challenges in retirement research and practice, and provides corresponding recommendations and suggestions.
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"This collection is a timely and excellent contribution to the study of resilience and the field of gerontology."--Anthropology and Aging Quarterly This state-of-the science, multidisciplinary Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics provides a comprehensive examination of critical issues on resilience in a variety of life domains central to the well-being of older persons. It examines the role of resilience in determining adjustment and function in the domains of health, grief and bereavement, physical activity and functioning, spirituality, work, retirement, intellectual/cognitive functioning, coping with life events, care giving, and mental health interventions. The first section of the book addresses such domains of resilience as immunological function, stress and mood disorders, emotional and cognitive resilience, adjustment to cultural and environmental changes, and spirituality. Section two is concerned with practical applications of resilience. A developmental family perspective is used to examine differences in adaptation to age-related challenges. The role of resilience in geriatric rehabilitation is discussed as is adaptive coping in regard to loss and trauma. The text also explores resilience in regard to career management, retirement, and volunteerism, considers resilience as a component of health in regard to public policy, and examines exemplary public health programs and policies and the relationship of resilience to health care finance. Also addressed is resilience in caregiving as a mutually beneficial process, clinical interventions that enhance resilience, and resilience from a lifespan developmental perspective. Key Features: Synthesizes the best current research in the field, with direct practice implications Addresses resilience in regard to immunological function, emotional and cognitive resilience, and spirituality Explores the role of resilience in geriatric rehabilitation, career management and retirement, person-environ fit, and public health and policy Examines directions for future research and resilience-oriented interventions
The linking of age and ill-health is part of a cultural narrative of decline as age is often defined as the absence of good health. Research has shown that we are aged by culture, but we are also culturally made ill when we age. The cultural ambiguity of aging can thus deconstruct negative images of old age as physical decrepitude. This volume investigates the topic of health within the matrix of time and experience by addressing issues such as how our understanding of health influences our notion of agency within a subversive deconstruction of normative age concepts, and what role the notion of health plays in such an interaction.

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