8 Stages of Development by Erik Erikson
A life-course approach to healthy ageing: maintaining physical capability
The Youth, Aging, and Life Course Division brings together a diverse group of researchers, teachers, students, activists, practitioners, policy-makers, and concerned citizens who are interested in furthering our understanding of the inter-connections between changing social structures and human lives in the context of the socially stratified process of aging across the life course. Arber and J. Ginn eds. Connecting Gender and Ageing. Buckingham: Open University Press. Bengston and K.
About this book
The Handbook of Sociology of Aging contains 45 far-reaching chapters, authored by nearly 80 of the most renowned experts, on the most pressing topics related to aging today. With its recurring attention to the social forces that shape human aging, and their social consequences and policy implications of it, the contents will be of interest to everyone who cares about what aging means for individuals, families, and societies. - NCBI Bookshelf. New Directions in the Sociology of Aging.
Research on healthy ageing lacks an agreed conceptual framework and has not adequately taken into account the growing evidence that social and biological factors from early life onwards affect later health. We conceptualise healthy ageing within a life-course framework, separating healthy biological ageing in terms of optimal physical and cognitive functioning, delaying the onset of chronic diseases, and extending length of life for as long as possible from changes in psychological and social wellbeing. We summarise the findings of a review of healthy ageing indicators, focusing on objective measures of physical capability, such as tests of grip strength, walking speed, chair rises and standing balance, which aim to capture physical functioning at the individual level, assessing the capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living. There is robust evidence that higher scores on these measures are associated with lower rates of mortality, and more limited evidence of lower risk of morbidity, and of age-related patterns of change. Drawing on a research collaboration of UK cohort studies, we summarise what is known about the influences on physical capability in terms of lifetime socioeconomic position, body size and lifestyle, and underlying physiology and genetics; the evidence to date supports a broad set of factors already identified as risk factors for chronic diseases. We identify a need for larger longitudinal studies to investigate age-related change and ethnic diversity in these objective measures, the dynamic relationships between them, and how they relate to other component measures of healthy ageing.