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Understanding Well-Being in the Oldest Old

$42.99 (P)

Leonard W. Poon, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Haim Hazan, Dov Shmotkin, Peter Martin, Neha Deshpande-Kamat, Mary Ann Johnson, Amit Shrira, Yuval Palgi, Grace da Rosa, Lee Hyer, Catherine A. Yeager, Maurice MacDonald, Jinmyoung Cho, Dorothy Hausman, Elisabeth Lilian Pia Sattler, Adam Davey, Jennifer Margrett, Benjamin Mast, Maria C. Isales, Howard Litwin, Alex Bishop, Galit Nimrod, Christine L. Fry, Charlotte Ikels, Sara Carmel, Ciera V. Scott
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  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521132008

$ 42.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The demographic and social structure of most industrialized and developing countries are changing rapidly as infant mortality is reduced and population life span has increased in dramatic ways. In particular, the oldest-old (85+) population has grown and will continue to grow. This segment of the population tends to suffer physical and cognitive decline, and little information is available to describe how their positive and negative distal experiences, habits, and intervening proximal environmental influences impact their well-being, and how social and health policies can help meet the unique challenges they face. Understanding Well-Being in the Oldest Old is the outcome of a four-day workshop attended by U.S. and Israeli scientists and funded by the U.S.-Israel Bi-National Science Foundation to examine both novel and traditional paradigms that could extend our knowledge and understanding of the well-being of the oldest old. This volume engages social scientists in sharing methods of understanding, and thereby possibly improving, the quality of life of older populations, especially among the oldest old.

    • Cross-cultural comparative study of successful adaptation among U.S. and Israeli researchers
    • Theoretical advances and options in conceptualizing adaptation and well-being among the oldest old
    • Empirical longitudinal findings from the U.S. and from Israel and how they may relate to both theory and possible service and policy applications
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “This book delivers what it promises in the title. It is an exceptionally well-written presentation of the multi-faceted nature of well-being in people aged 85 years and older. This is the fastest growing segment of the population; yet, there has never been such an engaging and enlightening overview of this important area. The two co-editors, Drs. Poon and Cohen-Mansfield, world authorities in studies of the oldest old, have brought together other experts from the U.S. and Israel to produce this remarkable volume. The comprehensive treatment of the subject matter ranges from definition and measurement of well-being to late-life psychotherapy, and from psychopathology in the form of PTSD to resilience and vitality in old age, as well as the effects of nutrition, leisure activity, and spirituality. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the field of aging or well-being.”
    – Dilip V. Jeste, University of California, San Diego

    “This thought-provoking volume is informed by theoretical and research approaches of a binational research team. It benefits from layering of understandings regarding successful aging, from the social and medical sciences and allied disciplines. Directing many lenses at the challenges of “aging well” among the very old, this book offers fresh insights about definitions, limitations, and variety in human adaptation at the end of the life course.”
    – Eva Kahana, Case Western Reserve University

    “Although the concept of subjective well-being is elusive, it becomes even more obscure when applied to members of the fourth age. By addressing the complex issue of why the subjective well-being of very old people does not appear to be compromised, this book sheds new light on their resilience and vulnerabilities. Contributions from prominent scholars in the U.S. and Israel tackle the conceptual, methodological, and treatment issues associated with understanding the well-being of the oldest old and highlight the significant challenges of studying well-being in persons with dementia. The editors present a compelling and comprehensive perspective that summarizes what we know about well-being in the oldest old, highlights how much we don't yet know, and defines the next generation of research.”
    – Rachel Pruchno, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine

    "....It delivers a comprehensive treatment of how we, as a society, should be looking at the care of the oldest old.... "Directing many lenses at the challenges of "aging well" among the very old, this book offers fresh insights about definitions, limitations, and variety in human adaptation at the end of the life course".... Containing contributions from prominent scholars in the United States and Israel, "Understanding" highlights the challenges of providing for the well-being of elders with dementia.... the book is scholarly, so medical professionals who treat the very old and those with dementia, please take note. You will find the documentation satisfying. However, mainstream readers interested in how to care for the very old, or those of any age with severe dementia, can find much of interest.... The book can guide professionals and family members as they look for ways to help the very old do more than survive.... "Understanding Well-being in the Oldest Old," edited by Leonard W. Poon and Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, presents scientists and lay people alike with a comprehensive view of the needs of aging people and others who may suffer from dementia."
    --Carol Bradley Bursack, HealthCentral

    "...provided us with a great deal of important information on a most important topic. It has much of value to contribute to researchers and policy makers in the aged-care field, providing information about research done thus far and exposing areas that could benefit from further investigation. The book highlights the urgent need for doing so.... Volumes such as this one can help readers realize that individuals can do things to prepare for old-old age...."
    --Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis, PsycCRITIQUES

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521132008
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 224 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 23 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Toward new directions in the study of well-being among the old-old Leonard W. Poon and Jiska Cohen-Mansfield
    Part I. Theory: New Horizons in Well-Being Research:
    2. From ageless self to selfless age: towards a theoretical turn in gerontological understanding Haim Hazan
    3. The pursuit of happiness: alternative conceptions of subjective well-being Dov Shmotkin
    4. The shifting baseline theory of well-being: lessons from across the aging spectrum Jiska Cohen-Mansfield
    5. The model of developmental adaptation: implications for understanding well-being in old-old age Peter Martin, Neha Deshpande-Kamat, Leonard W. Poon and Mary Ann Johnson
    Part II. Paradise Lost: Between Trauma and Happiness:
    6. Does trauma linger into old-old age: using the Holocaust experience as a paradigm Dov Shmotkin, Amit Shrira and Yuval Palgi
    7. The impact of life events on the oldest old Peter Martin, Grace da Rosa and Leonard W. Poon
    8. Post-traumatic stress disorder and its treatment at late life Lee Hyer and Catherine A. Yeager
    Part III. Pathways and Gatekeepers: Moderating, Mediating, and Proximal Processes:
    9. Impact of resources on successful adaptation among the oldest old Maurice MacDonald and Jinmyoung Cho
    10. Nutrition and well-being Mary Ann Johnson, Dorothy Hausman, Peter Martin, Leonard W. Poon, Elisabeth Lilian Pia Sattler and Adam Davey
    11. Cognitive functioning and vitality and well-being among the oldest old: implications for well-being Jennifer Margrett, Benjamin Mast, Maria C. Isales, Leonard W. Poon and Jiska Cohen-Mansfield
    12. Social relationship and well-being in very late life Howard Litwin
    13. Spirituality and religiosity connections to mental and physical health among the oldest old Alex Bishop
    14. Impact of leisure activity and innovation on the well-being of the very old Galit Nimrod
    Part IV. Signposting Paradise: Measurement of Well-Being:
    15. Culture and meaning: strategies for understanding the well-being of the oldest old Christine L. Fry and Charlotte Ikels
    16. The will to live as an indicator of well-being and predictor of survival in old age Sara Carmel
    17. The measurement of life satisfaction and happiness in old-old age Alex Bishop and Peter Martin
    18. Late life psychotherapy: challenges and opportunities to enhance well-being in the oldest old Lee Hyer, Catherine A. Yeager and Ciera V. Scott
    19. Future directions in the study of well-being Jiska Cohen-Mansfield and Leonard W. Poon.

  • Editors

    Leonard W. Poon, University of Georgia
    Leonard W. Poon is University of Georgia Distinguished Research Professor and Professor of Public Health and Psychology. He is also Director of the Institute of Gerontology and the Georgia Geriatric Education Center, Chair of the Faculty of Gerontology and Executive Director of the International Centenarian Consortium. He was Director of the National Institute of Health's funded Georgia Centenarian Study from 1988 to 2009. Dr Poon's primary research interests are longevity and survival of the oldest old by using a multidisciplinary approach to examine the contributors and predictors of functional capacities, life satisfaction, quality of life, personality and ability to cope, as well as genetics, environment and neuropathological contributions to longevity. His other research interests are on normal and pathological changes in memory and learning, the impact of exercise on cognition, and clinical diagnosis of early dementia. He has more than 33 research grants and has published more than 160 articles and books.

    Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Tel-Aviv University
    Jiska Cohen-Mansfield is a professor in the Department of Health Promotion at Tel Aviv University and a professor at the George Washington University Medical Center. She is also Chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Director of the Herczeg Institute on Aging at Tel Aviv University and was previously Director of the Research Institute at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. Her awards include the Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions in Gerontological Research from the Maryland Gerontological Association (1994), the Barry Reisberg Award for Alzheimer's Research for advances in non-pharmacologic research and clinical treatment from Hearthstone Alzheimer's Family Foundation (2003) and the award in appreciation of outstanding contribution from Psychologists in Long Term Care (2007). She has published more than 250 articles and books and is the co-editor of Satisfaction Surveys in Long-Term Care (with F. K. Ejaz and P. Werner). She is a highly cited researcher as listed by the ISI.


    Leonard W. Poon, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Haim Hazan, Dov Shmotkin, Peter Martin, Neha Deshpande-Kamat, Mary Ann Johnson, Amit Shrira, Yuval Palgi, Grace da Rosa, Lee Hyer, Catherine A. Yeager, Maurice MacDonald, Jinmyoung Cho, Dorothy Hausman, Elisabeth Lilian Pia Sattler, Adam Davey, Jennifer Margrett, Benjamin Mast, Maria C. Isales, Howard Litwin, Alex Bishop, Galit Nimrod, Christine L. Fry, Charlotte Ikels, Sara Carmel, Ciera V. Scott

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