Longer Lives: New Paths Forward

Developing a roadmap for later life that includes a Third Age can help set up individuals for higher quality lives. However, making such plans are not the responsibility of individuals alone. There are significant disparities in the length and opportunities available during the Third Age. We need policies designed to ensure that young people today have resources throughout their lives so they can develop a meaningful Third Age, and in doing so, we will be able to utilize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of our current and future elders.

Social Security Helped Slash Elderly Poverty to 9.2 Percent in the 20th Century – that Triumph is now in Jeopardy

My research shows job opportunities are increasing most rapidly in positions that pay less than US$30,000 thanks to automation as well as the growing demand for personal services – and the accompanying low wages. These types of jobs do not share as much in the fruits of economic growth.

Are Your Grandparents Getting Tipsy at the Holiday Party?

But frequent, heavy alcohol consumption accelerates health decline at all stages of life. While most people know that heavy alcohol use leads to liver diseases like cirrhosis, alcohol is also a major contributor to cancer mortality.

Age, Perceptions of Mattering, and Allostatic Load

The present research adds to a growing base of evidence that suggests positive intimate relationships act as mechanisms that modify biological pathways associated with disease. For instance, social support, a key factor associated with one’s perception of mattering, is associated with regulation of immune function, including inflammation, which is related to a range of chronic conditions including heart disease.

Depression and Widowhood: The Importance of Resilience

Our results have helped us think about future research and implications for practitioners. Persistent depression following spousal loss hinders our ability to cope, so it is important to identify ways to help vulnerable individuals at risk of becoming depressed.

There Is More to Women’s Political Participation than Voting

Journalists covering the 2018 mid-term elections enjoy spinning out narratives about cleavages in American society when it comes to voting. The gender gap is one of the tales they can weave together through data and first-person accounts. While gender differences in voting patterns are certainly important, it comfortably fits with a broader tendency to downplay women’s leadership and engagement throughout history. It is critical that we remind journalists, our students, and ourselves, that the gender gap in voting does not capture women’s political contributions or their political diversity. Women’s engagement matters well beyond their votes.       

Demographic Transitions and the Eclipse of the Family

Demographic Transitions and the Eclipse of the Family Many countries have experienced a demographic transition from high to low birth and death rates. The United States made this transition gradually during the 1800s and 1900s. Japan transited quickly during the mid-1900s. Pakistan is still stuck in the transition today. But about forty years ago, European …

Neighborhood Groups of Older People Help Build Inclusive Community

A program that started in 2015 in two rural areas in Kerala, southern India, is attempting to build community from the ground up that is inclusive of older people. The so-called Elderly Inclusion Program sees older people as persons who can contribute to the society and economy in countless ways, and not merely as a dependent group in need of services. It promotes community-building as well as the provision of valuable services and benefits. 

What Does Fixing Social Security Mean?

Fixing Social Security is not rocket science.  There is money available to fix it.  Consider the $1.3 trillion of annual tax expenditures that are made each year.  While some of these benefit low income households, it is estimated that over half benefit higher income households.  Annual expenditures on Social Security are about $946 billion, so taking a knife to tax expenditures that favor the wealthy has promise. 

STDs, Same Sex Contact, and Aging: The Research May Surprise You

This research calls for greater attention from policy makers and researchers because sexual orientation differences in STDs may exacerbate sexual minorities’ disadvantages in overall health status and quality of life in the older adult population.