Special Issue "New Advances in Aging"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Aging".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sara Santini
E-Mail
Guest Editor
IRCCS INRCA—National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing, Via S. Margherita 5, 60124 Ancona, Italy
Interests: informal caregivers; active and healthy aging; intergenerational relationships; use of ICT in elderly care and active aging programs
Dr. Cristina Gagliardi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IRCCS INRCA National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing (CRESI)-Laboratory on longevity and relations with the third sector, Via della Montagnola 81, 60123 Ancona, Italy
Interests: non-profit organizations; volunteering; social enterprise and active aging; social psychology of aging
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Casanova Georgia
E-Mail
Guest Editor
1. IRCSS INRCA National Institute of Health & Science on Ageing, Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing, 60124 Ancona, Italy
2. Polibienstar*-Research Institute on Social Welfare Policy-University of Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain
*from March 2021
Interests: long-term care; socioeconomic inequalities; social inclusion; social innovation; quality of services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health intends to publish a monographic issue on “New Advances in Aging”. Sara Santini, Cristina Gagliardi, and Georgia Casanova, senior researchers at INRCA–IRCCS, Italy’s National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing) will serve as guest editors. 

We are witnesses of the global population aging that is questioning healthcare and welfare systems’ as well as family ecosystems’ sustainability from a psychological, social, medical, and economic perspective. This scenario has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic, in fact, on the one side, has brought to light the weaknesses of many healthcare systems. On the other side, the COVID-19 crisis has triggered social and technological innovation to counteract the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on the older population and on their formal (e.g., doctors and nurses) and informal caregivers, mainly family members. The coronavirus infection hits especially hard older people with poor health and multiple chronic diseases who, if infected, are at risk of rapid physical health deterioration up to death. Moreover, older people with poor mental health and attending daycare facilities are also experiencing a decrease of cognitive capabilities and an increase of symptoms attributable to depression due to the interruption of the health interventions and services as a consequence of the stay-at-home and physical distancing policies adopted by all governments around the world (to different extents and at different times) for the containment of the virus. Furthermore, older adults who were active in their family and in the community have been limited by the lockdown to a detriment of their health and well-being.

In light of the above, scholars are called to contribute to advance knowledge and practice about aging to address the recent changes in healthcare and social services. There is a need for new psychosocial theories and research protocols which can help to read and interpret the aging phenomenon in a new society and for innovative solutions and evidence-based interventions to improve long-term care, promote healthy and active aging, and support informal caregivers. 

To this purpose, this Special Issue aims at collecting high-quality contributions looking at the aging process from a multidisciplinary and life-course perspective and focusing on different typologies of older people (e.g., active older adults and older people with long-term care needs) in their living environment (e.g., home, care facilities, daycare center, community).

Cross-national comparisons providing an updated overview of the state of the art in this respect will be particularly welcome, with a view of covering, in particular (but not exclusively), topics such as those listed here and not exclusively linked to the COVID-19 pandemic:

•    Advancements in psychosocial theory on aging and:
-    physical and mental health
-    social connections
-    family and intergenerational relationships
-    life-course and gender perspective
•    Social and technological innovation in long-term care (LTC) including:
-    strategies for bettering older people’s and family caregivers’ quality of life and innovative community care policies and services
-    measures for contrasting social isolation and loneliness
-    strategies for counteracting the undirected effects of LTC on older people’s family from an economic and wellbeing perspective
-    assistive technologies and ICTs targeting older people with chronic diseases, dementia, and long-term care needs 
-    support services for family of older people with dementia
•    Advancements in knowledge and practice on intergenerational caregiving
-    the role and challenges of home care providers in elderly care 
-    informal caregivers of older people 
•    Innovation in advancing the healthy and active aging paradigm and preventing early physical and mental decline:
-    new strategies and services for supporting older adults remain healthy and active during the COVID-19 pandemic
-    digital literacy and older people’s access to online healthcare services and information
-    social farming as a means od boosting active aging
-    art-based measures and practices (run in person or online) for promoting older people’s wellbeing

All works will be peer reviewed by experts of the specific field of interest. The deadline for delivery is 31 October 2021.

Dr. Sara Santini
Dr. Cristina Gagliardi
Dr. Casanova Georgia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • psychosocial theory on aging
  • social and technological innovation
  • intergenerational relationships
  • long-term care
  • healthy and active aging

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Societal Age Stereotypes in the U.S. and U.K. from a Media Database of 1.1 Billion Words
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168822 - 21 Aug 2021
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Recently, 194 World Health Organization member states called on the international organization to develop a global campaign to combat ageism, citing its alarming ubiquity, insidious threat to health, and prevalence in the media. Existing media studies of age stereotypes have mostly been single-sourced. [...] Read more.
Recently, 194 World Health Organization member states called on the international organization to develop a global campaign to combat ageism, citing its alarming ubiquity, insidious threat to health, and prevalence in the media. Existing media studies of age stereotypes have mostly been single-sourced. This study harnesses a 1.1-billion-word media database comprising the British National Corpus and Corpus of Contemporary American English—with genres including spoken/television, fiction, magazines, newspapers—to provide a comprehensive view of ageism in the United Kingdom and United States. The US and UK were chosen as they are home to the largest media conglomerates with tremendous power to shape public opinion. The most commonly used synonym of older adults was identified, and its most frequently used descriptors were analyzed for valence. Such computational linguistics techniques represent a new advance in studying aging narratives. The key finding is consistent, though no less alarming: Negative descriptions of older adults outnumber positive ones by six times. Negative descriptions tend to be physical, while positive ones tend to be behavioral. Magazines contain the highest levels of ageism, followed by the spoken genre, newspapers, and fiction. Findings underscore the need to increase public awareness of ageism and lay the groundwork to design targeted societal campaigns to tackle ageism—one of our generation’s most pernicious threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Aging)
Article
The Value of Active Arts Engagement on Health and Well-Being of Older Adults: A Nation-Wide Participatory Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158222 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 953
Abstract
An emerging body of research indicates that active arts engagement can enhance older adults’ health and experienced well-being, but scientific evidence is still fragmented. There is a research gap in understanding arts engagement grounded in a multidimensional conceptualization of the value of health [...] Read more.
An emerging body of research indicates that active arts engagement can enhance older adults’ health and experienced well-being, but scientific evidence is still fragmented. There is a research gap in understanding arts engagement grounded in a multidimensional conceptualization of the value of health and well-being from older participants’ perspectives. This Dutch nation-wide study aimed to explore the broader value of arts engagement on older people’s perceived health and well-being in 18 participatory arts-based projects (dance, music, singing, theater, visual arts, video, and spoken word) for community-dwelling older adults and those living in long term care facilities. In this study, we followed a participatory design with narrative- and arts-based inquiry. We gathered micro-narratives from older people and their (in)formal caregivers (n = 470). The findings demonstrate that arts engagement, according to participants, resulted in (1) positive feelings, (2) personal and artistic growth, and (3) increased meaningful social interactions. This study concludes that art-based practices promote older people’s experienced well-being and increase the quality of life of older people. This study emphasizes the intrinsic value of arts engagement and has implications for research and evaluation of arts engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Aging)
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