247314 Aging Research in the US

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Laurence Branch, PhD , College of Public Health/FMHI, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
The intersection of a country's life expectancies, active life expectancies, cultural values, and level of industrialization influence its aging research and policies. As others have noted, cultural values often change during the rush to industrialization. In China, a one-child policy sowed the seeds of changing aging policies. In India, the built environment of recent decades mirrors the architecture and lifestyle of developed countries, and their long tradition of multigenerational families living together is threatened. In post-industrialized Europe, the efforts towards increasing active life expectancy could reduce the duration of dependency and need for personal care assistance. In Central/South America, there is vast variability across countries in terms of life expectancy, active life expectancy, cultural values, the level of industrialization, and the built environments. Even within some countries, such as Brazil, the variability is vast. The US as one of the world's leaders in industrialization, increasing life expectancy, health, and wealth during the 20th century pioneered much of the research in aging, gerontology, and geriatrics during the last quarter of the 20th century. As life expectancy advances and a norm of multigenerational families wanes, research on aging often goes through predictable stages. One stage identifies those who need help that families cannot provide. Needs assessments are common at this stage. The next stage focuses on the array or continuum of services to be provided. Then there is research on the quality of the care provided by the components in the continuum. Global aging has much to learn from country aging.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define the three stages that aging research typicallly undergoes.

Keywords: Frail Elderly, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted research in many countires around the word, I am currently a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization, and work with the World Health Organization.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.