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Health and Cognition in Old Age
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In recent years, the aim of research on aging has shifted from prolonging life to fostering healthy and cognitively robust old age. In order to improve the quality of life of older people, we need to better understand cognitive aging as well as bodily aging. Health and Cognition in Old Age assembles the cream of research across varied medical, mental health, and social disciplines, and demonstrates how this knowledge can lead to improved outcomes for older people. The first half of this expert volume discusses biomedical and life course factors in aging, particularly as they affect cognition and well-being in later life. From there, effective solutions are the focus: interventions and care programs to improve mental functioning and general quality of life, and current policy and practice ideas in promoting healthy, active, and cognitively robust aging. Together, these diverse chapters offer a multi-faceted approach to understanding and modifying what was formerly the inevitable course of growing old. A sampling of the coverage: How the aging process affects the immune system.Occupational gerontology - work-related determinants of old age health and functioning.Social, behavioral, and contextual influences on cognitive function and decline.Lifestyle factors in the prevention of dementia.Understanding long-term care outcomes: conventional and behavioral economics.Social capital, mental well-being, and loneliness in older people. For gerontologists, sociologists, social workers, health psychologists, and others working to improve older people's lives, Health and Cognition in Old Age brings expertise, versatility, and confidence to the table.
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Table of Contents

Perspectives on health and cognition in old age. Why we need multidisciplinary investigations.- Part I: What constitutes health, cognition, and well-being in old age from a biomedical perspective?.- Vascular aging: revealing the role and clinical perspectives of the urokinase system .- Impact of metabolic control on cognitive function and health-related quality of life in older diabetics.- Understanding the mechanisms of immune system aging: Immune system cell development and antibody repertoires.- How the aging process affects our immune system: mechanisms, consequences and perspectives for intervention.- A conflict of interpretations in gerontology.- Part II: What constitutes health and cognition in old age from a life-course perspective?.- Occupational gerontology - work-related determinants of old age health and functioning.- Social, behavioral, and contextual influences on cognitive function and decline over the life course.- Obesity, cognitive ageing, and dementia - the usefulness of longitudinal studies to understand the obesity paradox.- Models for predicting risk of dementia: Predictive accuracy and model complexity.- Lifestyle factors in the prevention of dementia: A life-course perspective.- Part III: Promoting health, cognition, and well-being in old age through care and interventions.- Understanding long-term care outcomes: the contribution of conventional and behavioural economics.- Alzheimer's disease, patients, and informal caregivers - patterns of care in France, Sweden, and Greece.- Implementation of a complex improvement program in aged care.- Can executive functions be trained in healthy older adults and in older adults with mild cognitive impairment?.- Part IV: How to ensure healthy and active aging through policy and practice.- A Master's degree in one's fifties: A way to stay active beyond the retirement age.- Perspectives on dynamic retirement and active ageing.- Social capital, mental well-being and loneliness in older people.- Reading meters: Vision, instrumentation and evaluation in voluntary post-license training for older drivers.- Social policies for old age: A story of shifting images and time lag.

About the Author

Anja K. Leist is a psychologist specializing in life-span development and social epidemiology. After finishing her PhD studies in psychology at the University of Trier, Germany, she has been working as postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, and at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her current research interests involve life-course influences on cognitive function and health in older age, and technology and aging. Jenni Kulmala has a PhD in gerontology and public health from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. She is currently working at the Gerontology Research Center (GEREC) and department of health sciences, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. She also collaborates with University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio and Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. Her research interests involve sensory and cognitive functions, psychosocial symptoms and life-course epidemiology. Fredrica Nyqvist has a PhD in social policy from Abo Akademi University in Finland. She is now working as a senior researcher at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finland. Within the FLARE fellowship she has established research collaboration with Umea University, Sweden and Northumbria University, UK. She has extensively investigated the application of social capital concept. Her current research explores inequalities in social capital, loneliness and well-being in an aging population and the role of social capital as a positive resource in older people's mental health.

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