• 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.

Social Support, Health, and Aging
Social support, health, and aging

Social support is important for both mental and physical health throughout the life span, but it may be especially important in late life. An early negative stereotype was that the elderly were social isolated, but the past three decades have painted a much more complex picture of how social support changes in both structure and function with age.

This chapter describes the characteristics of the social support network including function, composition, and change with age. Studies in the sociological and psychological literature frequently focus on support given by the informal network (friends, family, and neighbors), but we review that provided by the formal support network as well. This includes individuals who are paid for their services, including ...

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