Can Successful Aging and Chronic Illness Coexist in the Same Individual? A Multidimensional Concept of Successful Aging

Yuchi Young, Kevin D. Frick, Elizabeth A. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

For the past 4 decades, many studies seeking to develop a definition and identify critical determinants of successful aging have been published. To date, there is still no consensus on a standard definition or measure of "successful aging." Most constructs have been one dimensional; although a few have been multidimensional, none has emerged as standard. The most serious limitation of contemporary successful aging constructs is the undue focus on physiologic aspects of aging. To move beyond this limited perspective that stresses disease and impairment, we postulate that successful aging may coexist with diseases and functional limitations if compensatory psychological and/or social mechanisms are used. With this premise, this article presents a new definition and conceptual framework of successful aging, together with an operational definition (measurement) that delineates our successful aging concept. We discuss how the proposed multidimensional measurement may be used as a screening tool, and address its relevance for health services research and health care delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Successful aging concept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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