• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging: Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives, Carolyn M. Aldwin and Diane F. Gilmer undertake the challenging task of assembling an objective and holistic picture of human aging. The authors provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary coverage of the physical aspects of aging, including age-related changes and disease-related processes, the demography of the aging population, theories of aging, and the promotion of optimal aging. In addition, the book covers the psychosocial aspects of aging, including mental health, stress and coping, spirituality, and care giving in later years.   Health, Illness and Optimal Aging is recommended for researchers seeking an overview of health psychology and aging, as well as undergraduate and graduate students taking classes in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. This text is also valuable for practitioners working with the elderly in fields such as nursing, social work, occupational and physical therapy, day-care and nursing home administration, psychology, and rehabilitation.

Introduction and Basic Concepts in Aging
Introduction and basic concepts in aging

Is second childhood and mere oblivion Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

—Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty; For in my youth I never did apply Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood; Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo The means of weakness and debility; Therefore my age is as a lusty winter, Frosty, but kindly.

—Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene III

From time immemorial, there have been two markedly different views of late life, illustrated nicely by the contrasting images provided by Shakespeare. Although the first, more negative, quote is widely cited, the second is less well-known ...

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