1. Myths and Realities of Aging
The common myths surrounding aging are compared with today's realities.
Experts and elders describe how we learn about aging and how knowledge can
help us debunk myths.
2. How the Body Ages
Experts describe the universal physical changes that accompany aging and
explain how deterioration can be prevented. Researchers describe advances in
cellular studies and the search for biomarkers of aging.
3. Maximizing Physical Potential of Older Adults
Considers ways to develop the greatest physical potential in an aging individual
while compensating for the effects of aging. Elders describe how lifestyle
choices have helped them maintain an active, healthy life.
4. Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality
Examines the sources of love and affection in old age and describes how aging
may affect sexual and reproductive functioning. Older adults discuss their
continuing need for companionship, intimacy, love, and sex.
5. Learning, Memory, and Speed of Behavior
Explores what happens to our mental capacities as we age. Techniques used to
maintain and augment mental functioning are examined. Elders explain why
lifelong learning is crucial.
6. Intellect, Personality, and Mental Health
Examines intellectual function and the nature of personality. Gerontologists
describe longitudinal and cross-sectional research designs to study intellect and
personality over the lifespan. Elders discuss mental health and stress-reduction
7. Social Roles and Relationships in Old Age
Looks at how family, friendship, work, and leisure roles evolve as we age.
Elders discuss coping with role losses resulting from retirement or death of a
loved one. The pioneering of new roles is explored.
8. Family and Intergenerational Relationships
Profiles older people as spouses and grandparents and looks at how elders help
sustain family traditions and culture. Older adults describe the satisfaction and
stress of caring for spouses and frail parents.
9. Work, Retirement, and Economic Status
Explores labor force trends, early retirement, and new job opportunities for
older workers. Retirees describe community service and leisure activities. Social
Security, pensions, and other income sources are discussed.
10. Illness and Disability
Examines chronic health problems and availability of supportive services. Older
people discuss how they cope with physical and mental illness and face tough
decisions regarding institutionalization and costs of long-term care.
11. Dying, Death, and Bereavement
Discusses the services older people need to deal with dying and death. Elders
describe their views on widowhood and management of grief. Experts examine
the ethical dilemmas posed by terminal illness.
12. Societal and Political Aspects of Aging
Considers individual and governmental responsibilities for the health care and
financial support of older citizens. Experts and elders examine the political clout
of advocacy groups, older women, and minority elders.
13. The Future of Aging
Explores generational conflicts, resource needs of a growing population of
elders, and the role of technology in improving quality of life for older adults.
Experts describe how aging will be different in the twenty-first century.