Ageing Well: Nutrition, Health, and Social Interventions

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Overview

Many current public health actions and policies aimed at older people revolve around the often prevailing view that failing health is a consequence of ageing. It is now clear that it is possible to postpone or even prevent much of the age-related decline in health that was once thought inevitable. Future policies must recognise this changing paradigm, and, using a multi-disciplinary approach, integrate fully the changing needs of older people into all areas of public policy including health, nutrition, social support, housing, and economic security.

Derived from the 47th Annual Symposium of the Society for the Study of Human Biology in November 2005, Ageing Well: Nutrition, Health, and Social Interventions highlights important health and social factors affecting quality of life in older age, and reviews possible interventions aimed at the prevention or amelioration of problems that reduce the potential for ageing well. Covering a wide range of topics, contributors address the nutritional vulnerability and specific nutritional needs of older adults and confirm the necessity of appropriate diet and exercise in order to maintain both physical and cognitive health. Reminiscence, social interaction and support are highlighted as crucial for the preservation of identity, health and emotional well-being. Other chapters are concerned with socio-economic differences in the extent of age-related changes in health, resulting particularly from poor quality housing and lack of family support networks. The book includes an examination of the economic consequences for health care systems and pension schemes of ageing populations, provides insight into the methodology of evaluating the cost-effectiveness of interventions, and outlines how the minimum cost of healthy living for the 65+ population can be estimated.

Bringing together the very latest information on successful ageing, Ageing Well: Nutrition, Health, and Social Interventions presents an up-to-date synthesis of the current evidence of nutrition, public health and social interventions aiming to ensure health and good quality of life in older age.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is a multiauthored book on interventions for an increasingly aged society. It derives from a symposium of the Society for the Study of Human Biology and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Centre for Aging and Public Health in November 2005.
Purpose: Its purpose is to typify the interventions in nutrition, health, and social policies for gerontologists and social planners. These worthy objectives are met ably in this compact book.
Audience: This book is written for gerontologists and social planners. The authors are all experts in the field.
Features: In addition to succinct reviews of nutrition and exercise, there are discussions of vision, reminiscence, cognition, and how to determine the cost-effectiveness of interventions. The discussion of energy efficiency of housing for older persons — and how hypothermia in England is more likely in cold houses — is a striking example of how health and social policies and design all must come together to help older persons.
Assessment: I like this collection of essays. They are well written, succinct, and have well chosen, well cited references that stimulate further reading. The uniform, engaging tone of voice, so often lacking in conference proceedings, makes for enjoyable reading in this thoughtfully edited book.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction, A. D. Dangour, E.M.D. Grundy, and A.E. Fletcher
Nutritional Concerns in Old Age, L. de Groot and W.A. van Staveren
Regular Exercise—the Best Investment for Our Old Age, M.E.T. McMurdo
Major Eye Diseases of Later Life: Cataract and Age-Related Macular Degeneration, A.E. Fletcher
Reminiscence in Everyday Talk between Older People and Their Carers: Implications for the Quality of Life of Older People in Care Homes, F. Wilson, K. McKee, H. Elford, M.C. Chung,
F. Goudie, and S. Hinchliff
Retention of Cognitive Function in Old Age: Why Initial Intelligence is Important, L.J. Whalley
Health Inequalities in Old Age in Britain, E. Breeze
Demographic Change, Family Support, and Ageing Well: Developed Country Perspectives, E.M.D. Grundy
Energy Efficiency and the Health of Older People, P. Wilkinson
Ageing, Health, and Welfare: An Economic Perspective, C. Normand
Methodological Issues in Assessing the Cost Effectiveness of Interventions to Improve the Health of Older People, D. Walker and C. Aedo
Minimum Income for Healthy Living: Physical Activity, Anti-ageing, Autonomy, J. Morris, A.D. Dangour, C. Deeming,A. E. Fletcher, and P. Wilkinson
Responding to Increasing Human Longevity: Policy, Practice, and Research, D. Metz
Index

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