Social work

experience and methods

Successful aging: multidimensional approach


Aging is one of the most significant trends of the 21st century. According to the recent European Union Annual Aging Report (2017), the proportion of the Lithuanian population aged over 65 years was 19.2% in 2016 and is expected to reach 29.6 % in 2070. Population aging and increases in life expectancy in the developed world have led to clinical, public health and policy interest in how to age “successfully“. Successful aging has been one of the most popular concepts in the gerontological literature over the last few years. At present, however, there is no universally accepted definition of what the term “successful aging“ means and different authors use different interpretative frameworks. Also there are a lot of successful aging models. Much of the literature on successful aging is based on the biomedical model, which emphasizes health status and disease. However, research show that the presence of illness should not be equated with “unsuccessful“ aging. A medicalized view of aging ignored other important aspects of aging, such as social, spiritual and psychological. The primarily biomedical definitions should be enlarged to encompass “biopsychosocial” definitions. The purpose of this work is to review the successful aging concepts and models reflecting multidimensional approach within social work perspective. Research suggests that successful aging is a multidimensional construct ensuring a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of aging.

Key words: aging, successful aging models, elderly, multidimensional approach.


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