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February 16 , 2008

Resilience and Aging

Research and Practice


When aging adults struggle with social isolation, financial instability, or the difficult work of caring for a spouse with a chronic illness, their levels of stress can be enormous. But many older adults are living longer and are trying to make the best of their later years despite being more vulnerable to stress. In Resilience and Aging, renowned geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Helen Lavretsky explains how enhanced resilience—which involves positively adapting to adversity in a way that maintains a person’s biological and psychological equilibrium—can counter that vulnerability. She describes how care, practice, and research all can be redirected toward emphasizing the positive aspects of aging and prevention.

Lavretsky summarizes the most up-to-date research on resilience, neurobiology, and preventive care. She also describes novel interventions—including yoga, tai chi, meditation, and allopathic techniques—that can help older adults improve their cognition and quality of life. Finally, she explores relevant clinical cases from her practice.

Designed for geriatric practitioners, researchers, and family caregivers, this practical book offers critical information on measuring resilience, the role of spirituality in reducing stress, and incorporating resilience-building procedures into clinical practice or everyday life. Throughout, the book’s revolutionary integrative approach aims to amplify personal happiness by allowing aging adults to remain healthy and active while simultaneously reducing the cost of chronic disease to families and society.

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