Theme 1: Economic and Demographic Perspectives on Aging

Changing demographic profile of populations around the world will have significant economic impacts, at the community, regional, national, or international level.

  • The economic impacts of aging communities
  • Working into older age; changes in productivity; attracting and managing an older workforce
  • Changes in consumption, income, and assets
  • Government economic policies, including taxation, welfare, social security
  • Increase in the demand and cost of health care
  • Economic status and the wellbeing of the elderly

Theme 2: Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging

The aging of populations is going to require changes in the public discourse regarding government policy and community support for the aged. Public policies may be related to legal rights, economic provision of health care, or guarantees of access to housing and social services. Community support may be related to policies and programs that enable civic engagement, provide continuing education, or support diversity.

  • Public health policies related to the aged
  • Defining and protecting the human rights of older people across populations and groups
  • Legal issues for older people – policy and practice
  • Age-friendly design for accessibility— initiatives for the public built environment, houses and retirement and care facilities
  • Civic engagement and volunteerism for the aged
  • Community programs for maintaining physical health, social wellbeing, and mental cognition into older age
  • Epidemiology of aging

Theme 3: Medical Perspectives on Aging, Health, Wellness

The growing proportion of people living longer has significant implications for the provision of health services, and for strategies to maintain health and well-being into old age. Medical developments in a variety of areas impact the ways in which aging is viewed and managed from individual and societal perspectives.

  • The biology and physiology of aging
  • Food and nutrition needs for the aging population
  • Brain function and cognition in the aged
  • Management of chronic and/or age-related disease
  • Identification and management of disease in specific populations
  • Regenerative and anti-aging medical interventions
  • Aging and sexual expression
  • Genetics and aging
  • Medications, dietary supplements and regulatory oversight

Theme 4: Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging

An aging population will also have significant social and cultural impacts—on all age groups, as well as the aged themselves. Increased demands on family and community resources are viewed--and managed--differently across cultures, as is end-of-life care. For the aging individual, changes in social relationships, living arrangements, and levels of independence must be navigated.

  • The societal impact of population aging
  • Social support and networks
  • Family structure, relationships, and responsibilities
  • Spirituality, religious involvement, and mortality
  • Cultures of end-of-life care
  • Qualities of life for older people living in developing and developed countries
  • Historical and anthropological perspectives on social response to aging
  • Lifestyles of the aged
  • Culturally specific responses to the aging
  • Media representations of the aged

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