American Academy Blog

Advance Equity and Choice in Aging in All Contexts Across the Life Course

December 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm 1 comment

The important concepts here are equity and choice in how people age across the life course, recognizing the universality of the aging experience. It captures the concepts of aging–in-place, equal access to integrated community-based services to address health disparities in care and the necessity of affordable housing. All of these factors are essential for individuals to maximize their potential in old age and enjoy optimal aging.


One thought on “Advance Equity and Choice in Aging in All Contexts Across the Life Course

  • Amanda Lehning - December 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    This is a critical issue, and one that social work should seek to addrress given our profession’s focus on the person-in-environment and vulnerable populations. The concept of aging in place (the idea that remaining in familiar social and physicial environments enhances quality of life as we age) has received a great deal of attention from a variety of disciplines and professions. There has been less attention to the idea of being ‘stuck in place’ in housing and neighborhoods that are not optimal. For example, neighborhoods with limited access to food, little social capital, high rates of crime, few transportation options, and deteriorating housing. Social work should be at the forefront of conducting research and designing interventions to not only improve community social and physical infrastructure to support elder health and well-being, but also to allow those with limited resources to exercise choice in how and where they age. It should also be noted that this research has implications across the life course, as many of the features of an “aging-friendly” community can benefit other members of the community.

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