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| Introduction | Part I. | Part II.
| Part III. | Part IV. | Part V. | Part VI. |

Part VI. Health, Aging, and Culture

| Newsflash| Gerontological Anthropology in Action| Projects to follow | Web Specials | Books on the Web | Web Resources | Print Resources |

newsflas.gif (7743 bytes)NEWS FLASH: NEW! U.S. DISABILITY RATES CONTINUE TO DECLINE. A study which looked at the records of 19,000 elderly Medicare beneficiaries each year since 1982, found that until 1994, the number with a chronic disability was declining by 1.6 percent each year. The decline was steeper, reaching 2.6 percent in the latest five years in the study, from 1994 to 1999. A May 8, 2001 New York Times article "New Decrease in Chronic Illness Bodes Well for Medicare Costs," spells out the implications of this study.
Click on the chart to the left for the full article by Kenneth Manton and XiLiang Gu in the
Procedings of the National Academy of  Science 98 (10): 2001.

newsflas.gif (7743 bytes)NEWS FLASH:  WHO GIVES NEW HEALTHY
LIFE EXPECTANCY RANKINGS AND PLACES JAPAN NUMBER ONE. A June 2000 press release lists the Japanese as having the longest healthy life expectancy of 74.5 years among 191 countries, versus less than 26 years for the lowest-ranking country of Sierra Leone, based on a new way to calculate healthy life expectancy developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Previously, life expectancy estimates were based on the overall length of life based on mortality data only.
The United States rated 24th under this system, or an average of 70.0 years of healthy life for babies born in 1999. The WHO also breaks down life expectancy by sex for each country. Under this system, U.S. female babies could expect 72.6 years of healthy life, versus just 67.5 years for male babies. http://www3.who.int/whosis/hale/hale.cfmpath=whosis,burden_statistics,hale&language=english

newsflas.gif (7743 bytes)NEWS FLASH: Japan and Germany institute Long-Term Care Insurance. While the United States struggles to find a way to finance long-term care (LTC) for its elders, Germany (1995) and Japan (2000) have already enacted LTC insurance systems. A recent report titled "Long Term Care: The Experience of Two Nations" from the International Longevity Center (ILC), New York City, describes how the Japanese and German systems evolved very differently from one another.  Access all the ILC publications at www.ilcusa.org./pub/books.htm

newsflas.gif (7743 bytes)NEWS FLASH: A 1998 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that as African-Americans and Hispanics age, the frequency of Alzheimer's Disease in those populations may increase disproportionately. This report finds that blacks and Hispanics run a higher risk for this type of dementia than whiles, although he reasons why were unclear. The findings were based on a study of 1,079 elderly white, black and Hispanic Medicare recipients whose health histories were monitored for six years.

newsflas.gif (7743 bytes)NEWS FLASH: A May 20,1998 New York Times front page article "Homes for Elderly Replacing Family Care as China Grays," follows up on some of the issues discussed in Chapter 24. The article reports on the rapid rise, in large cities like Guangzhou, of privately owned, for-profit residences for the aged. This has been facilitated by a 1996, city authorization to run such private homes for the elderly to complement the range of residential and care settings discussed in chapter 24. 

newsflas.gif (7743 bytes)NEWS FLASH: On August 4th,1997,  the world's oldest person Jeanne Calment died at age 122 years and 164 days. Check out the web link below where you can get to a short profile of her life. http://detnews.com/1997/obits/9708/04/08040139.htm

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In the 1980s Jay Sokolovsky conducted research through a public health school in Croatia and published: "SELF-HELP HYPERTENSIVE GROUPS AND THE ELDERLY IN YUGOSLAVIA."  The lessons learned in this work are applicable to the collapse of the self-help groups Henderson discusses in Ch. 22.
This photo taken during my work in rural Croatia shows grandchild staying for the summer with his grandparents while their parents remain in Zagreb, the nation's capital and largest city.

"ANTHROPOLOGY AND EVERYDAY COMPETENCE"  Anthropologist Steve Albert discusses the cultural context of disability based a study conducted in Washington Heights, New York City
AGING, HEALTH, AND WOMEN IN WEST NEW BRITAIN by Dorothy Counts. Based on her long term fieldwork in Papua New Guinea (see also Part 5, Gerontological Anthropology in Action).


A longitudinal study since 1976 of the very old of Okinawa, Japan shows they have among the lowest mortality rates in the world from a multitude of chronic diseases and as a result enjoy not only the world's longest life expectancy but also the longest health expectancy. Centenarians, in particular, have a history of aging slowly and delaying or escaping entirely the chronic diseases of aging including dementia, cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke) and cancer. 

THE NUN STUDY. www.coa.uky.edu/nunnet/ The Nun Study is a longitudinal study of aging and Alzheimer's disease funded by the National Institute on Aging. Recent findings are reported in in a May 7, 2001 New York Times article, "Nuns Offer Clues to Alzheimer's and Aging." Participants are 678 American members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame religious congregation who were 75-103 years of age. Each sister in the study has agreed to participate in annual assessments of her cognitive and physical function, undergo a brief medical examination, have her blood drawn and allow investigators full access to her archival and medical records. Each participant has also agreed to donate her brain at death for neuropathologic study

PROJECT REACH. Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health is a five-year initiative started in 1995 by the National Institutes of Health. It is taking place at six universities around the nation. Its primary purpose is to develop and test new ways to help families manage the daily activities and the stresses of caring for people with Alzheimer's Disease or a related disorder. There is a strong component of involving minority families in the various projects. Track the results of this project at:

WEB SPECIALS:          top of page

Older Americans 2008:
Key Indicators of Well-Being
This report provides the latest data on the 38 key indicators selected by the Forum to portray aspects of the lives of older Americans and their families. It is divided into five subject areas: population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, and health care.

www.census.gov/ipc/prod/ib98-2.pdf The International section of the US Census Bureau has produced a short report "Gender and Aging: Mortality and Health."

www.stpt.usf.edu/~jsokolov/agewom1.htm "Health Problems and Policies for Older Women: An Emerging Issue in Developing Countries," by Mary Eming Young (May, 1994).

www.nyu.edu/projects/rodwin/lessons.html Japan's Universal and Affordable Health Care: Lessons for the United States? by Victor Rodwin (with the assistance of Llyn Kawasaki and James Littlehales) New York: Japan Society, 1994. 


a) www.nih.gov/nia/health/pubs/whasbook/title.htm Guralnik, J. et. al. 1995. The Woman's Health and Aging Study: Health and Social Characteristics of Older Women with Disability. 

b) http://books.nap.edu/catalog/5237.html
Martin, L. and B. Soldo. 1997. Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Health of Older American. 

c) www.nap.edu/books/NI000069/html/  Feasely, J. ed. 1996. Best at Home: Assuring Quality Long-Term Care in Home and Community-Based Settings.

http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/daltcp/home.htm  REPORTS ON LONG-TERM CARE AND DISABILITY. The home page of the Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy at the federal Department of Health and Human Services. At this site you can get access to a full reports, abstracts and executive summaries on a host of research projects. Many international reports are to be found at http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/daltcp/reports/. Examples to search for here include: "International Evidence on Disability Trends Among the Elderly" or "Nursing Home Care in Five Countries"

http://pr.aoa.dhhs.gov/aoa/hcbltc/profiles/  STATE LONG-TERM CARE PROFILES is a site which uses a U.S. map to allow viewers to click on a state and get a summary of 25 data tables for that state.

www.psyeta.org/sa/sa1.1/perelle.html.  PET THERAPY IN NURSING HOMES is becoming very popular and is discussed in Ch. 27 of my book. For a more formal test of its effects you can read on-line an article by Perelle and Granville, "Assessment of the Effectiveness of a Pet Facilitated Therapy Program in a Nursing Home Setting."

WEB RESOURCES:          top of page

www.med.harvard.edu/programs/necs/  THE NEW ENGLAND CENTENARIAN STUDY. This site at the Harvard Medical School discusses various projects on the very long lived which are currently being undertaken through this school. Links to articles about their work can be found at: www.med.harvard.edu/programs/necs/abstracts.html

http://www.mediaage.net/  Women in Europe towards Healthy Ageing - under resources, selected articles, scroll down to this article.

"An Overview of Nursing Homes and Their Current Residents: Data From the 1995 National Nursing Home Survey," provided by the National Center for Health Statistics.


Special Issue of the Journal, International Psychogeriatrics. "Behavioral and Psychological Signs and Symptoms of Dementia" Volume 8, Supplement 3, 1996. There is a section which provides several articles dealing with cross-cultural studies. 

Auchus, A. 1997. "Dementia in Urban Black Outpatients: Initial Experiences at the Emory Satellite Clinics" Gerontologist 37:1: 25-29. 

Bernard, S. 1997. Racial Differences in Perceptions of Access to Health Care among the Elderly, Garland Publishing, New York, NY. 

Graves, A. 1996. Prevelence of Dementia and its Subtypes in the Japanese American Population of King County, Washington - The Kame Project" American J. of Epidemiology 144(8): 760-771.

Kitwood, T. 1997 Dementia Reconsidered Bukingham, England: Open Univerisity Press.

Powers, B.A. 1996. "Relationships among older women living in a nursing home." Journal of Women and Aging 8(3/4):179-98.

Rowles, G. D. and D. M. High. 1996. "Individualizing care: family roles in nursing home decision-making." Journal of Gerontological Nursing 22(3): 20-25.

Rubenstein, R.L. 1996. Shades of gray: depression in later life. NY: Springer.

Sankar, A., M Luborshy, Rim Rwabuhemba, "Comparative Perspectives on Living with HIV/AIDS in Late Life," Research on Aging, Vol 20, no 6, 1998. 

Su, Y. and K.F. Ferraro. 1997. "Social relations and health assessments among older people: do the effects of integration and social contributions vary cross-culturally?" [Fiji, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines] Journal of Gerontology 52B(1): S27-36. 

Thomas, W.H. 1996. The Eden Alternative: nature, hope and nursing homes. Order from Eden Alternative, RR1, Box 31B4, Shelburne, NY 13460 

Schoenberg, N. 1997. "A Convergence of Health Beliefs: An 'Ethnography of Adherence' of African-American Rural Elders with Hypertension. Human Organization 56:2:174-81 

Wielink, G., R. Huusman and J. McDonnell. 1997. "Preferences for Care: A Study of the Elders Living Independently in the Netherlands." Research on Aging 19:2:174-98.

Gwen Yeo. 1996/97. "Ethnogeriatrics: Cross-cultural Care of Older Adults." Generations Winter:72-77. 

Armstrong, M. Jocelyn. 1997. "Informal social supports for aging with a disability: American perspectives." In Managing care, riskand responsibility: the challenge of the 21st century as the aging and disabled population grows and diversifies. Pp. 110-16.Chicago: Systed.

Becker, G. 1998. "Coping With Stigma: Lifelong Adaptation of Deaf People." In P. Brown, ed. Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Bethel, D. 1992. "Alienation and Reconnection in a Home for the Elderly." In J. Tobin, ed. Re-Made in Japan. New Haven: CT: Yale University Press.

Crain, M. 1997. Medical Decision Making Among Chinese-Born and Euro-American Elderly. Hamden, CT: Garland.

Guralnik, J. 1996. "Disability as a Public Health Outcome in the Aging Population." Annual Review of Public Health 17:25-46. A very important article pulling together the past decade of research on disability and aging.

Haley, W., Han, B. and N. Henderson. 1998. "Aging and Ethnicity: Issues for Clinical Practice," Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medicine In Press. 

Henderson, N. and M. Whaley. 1997. "Cultural Factors in Geriatric Rehabilitation: Ethnic-Specific and Generational Cultures," Journal of Geriatric Rehabilitation 12:3:1-9.

Hennessy, C. 1989. "Culture in the use, care and control of the aging body," Journal of Aging Studies 13:1:39-54.

Kontos, Pia C. 1998. Resisting institutionalization: constructing old age and negotiating home. Journal of Ageing and Society 12: 167-84.

LeNavenee, Caroline. 1997.  "Understanding the social context offamilies experiencing dementia: a qualitative approach."  In Caregiving in dementia: research and applications. vol. 2 BMLMisen & G.M. Jones, eds. Pp. 210-31. London: Routledge.

Mattiasson, A-C., L. Anderson, L.C. Mullins, L. Moody. 1997. A comparative empirical study of autonomy in nursing homes in Sweden and Florida. USA. JCCG 12: 299-316.

Rowles, Graham D., J.E. Beaulieu, W.W. Myers, eds. 1996. Long-term care for the rural elderly: new directions in services,r esearch and policy. NY: Springer.

Rubinstein, Robert L. & M.P. Lawton, eds. 1997. Depression in long term and residential care: advances in research and treatment. NY: Springer.

Savishinsky, Joel. 1998. At work, at home, at large: the sense of person and place in retirement. North American Dialogue 3(1): 16-18.

Scheidt, R.J. & P.G. Windley, eds. 1998. Environment and aging theory: a focus on housing. Westport CT: Greenwood.

Valle, R. 1998. Caregiving across cultures: working with dementing illness and ethnically diverse populations. Washington DC: Taylor & Francis.

Wister, A. and G. Gutman, eds. 1998. Health Systems and Aging in Selected Pacific Rim Countries: Cultural Diversity and Change. Vancouver, CAN: The Gerontology Research Center, Simon Frazer University.

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