Positive aging incorporates concepts and research from developmental psychology, gerontology, and positive psychology to understand and improve the health and broader well-being of older adults (usually defined as those over 65 years old). It is the ability to adapt positively to and make the best of the experiences of aging, including maintaining well-being in the face of age-related events and transitions (such as multiple chronic illnesses and disabilities, sensory decline, caregiving duties, and bereavement). The term positive aging developed out of dissatisfaction with the term successful aging, which (at least initially) required the absence of both chronic illnesses and cognitive decline. Many older adults describe themselves as aging successfully despite having chronic illnesses and functional decline, and their own definitions of successful aging include not merely health, but also activity,...
References and Further Reading
- Hill, R. D., & Smith, D. J. (2015). Positive aging: At the crossroads of positive psychology and geriatric medicine. In P. A. Lichtenberg, B. T. Mast, B. D. Carpenter, & J. Loebach Wetherell (Eds.), APA handbook of clinical geropsychology, vol 1: History and status of the field and perspectives on aging (pp. 301–329). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Huffman, J. C., Beale, E. E., Celano, C. M., Beach, S. R., Belcher, A. M., Moore, S. V., … Januzzi, J. L. (2016). Effects of optimism and gratitude on physical activity, biomarkers, and readmissions after an acute coronary syndrome.: The gratitude research in acute coronary events study, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 9(1), 55–63. https://doi.org/10.1161/circoutcomes.115.002184.Google Scholar
- Perez-Blasco, J., Sales, A., Meléndez, J. C., & Mayordomo, T. (2016). The effects of mindfulness and self-compassion on improving the capacity to adapt to stress situations in elderly people living in the community. Clinical Gerontologist, 39(2), 90–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2015.1120253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Redwine, L. S., Henry, B. L., Pung, M. A., Wilson, K., Chinh, K., Knight, B., … Mills, P. J. (2016). Pilot randomized study of a gratitude journaling intervention on heart rate variability and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with stage B heart failure. Psychosomatic Medicine, 78(6), 667–676. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar