CBCS Core Collaborations Series - Part 4: Successful Aging

Why do we study aging? Isn't it all about disease, and loss of independence, and death? Although much of the field of Gerontology focuses on the negative impact of aging, a growing area of research focuses on Successful Aging. Successful Aging is the hope of every baby boomer – good health, lack of disease, excellent emotional well-being, strong social ties that are mutually rewarding, and sustained cognitive health. A common belief is that memory decline is an unavoidable part of aging, built into our biology, and that nothing can be done to prevent it. However, there is tantalizing evidence that certain activities may be able to delay the onset of cognitive decline for many healthy older adults. Interventions such as computerized cognitive training exercises, diets rich in antioxidants, aerobic exercise, and stimulating social and workforce activities may help to slow cognitive changes normally associated with aging.

The school's faculty members have degrees in diverse areas including Aging Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Education, Gerontology, Law, Medicine, Neurosciences, Nursing, Pharmacology, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Public Health, Social Work, and Sociology. These faculty members bring their expertise in these scholarly and professional areas, as well as their specialized experience in gerontology, to bear on the many complex issues faced in understanding the biological, psychological, social, and public policy aspects of aging. They are engaged in extensive research activities concentrated in three areas; Aging and Health; Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer's Disease; and Public Policy and Long-Term Care and have a particular emphasis on applied research that is aimed at improving clinical practice, public policy, and the well-being of older adults and their families.