Healthy Aging and Health-Related Quality of Life

Healthy_aging_1aThe population of older adults is larger and growing faster than at any other time in history. In the year 1900, the population of Americans aged 65 or older was about 3.1 million, and made up 4% of the total U.S. population. One hundred years later the number and percentage had grown to 35.0 million and 12% respectively, and these trends are projected to continue for at least the next several decades (Administration on Aging, Administration for Community Living, & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016). However, living longer does not necessarily translate to living healthier, or living a higher quality of life. With aging there is a general trend towards an increased likelihood of having chronic health conditions like cancer, heart and circulatory conditions, metabolic conditions, arthritis, dementia, and disability Healthy_aging_2b
(Crimmins, 2004; Freedman, Schoeni, Martin, & Cornman, 2007).

In response, the UNTHSC created an Institute for Healthy Aging with a focus on preparing the workforce for managing the challenges of an aging society, providing specialized care to older adults living in the North Texas region, and researching ways to help older adults and their families prevent, live higher quality lives with, and treat age-related health conditions. Dr. Chen and Dr. Wei work as members of multidisciplinary teams that seek to define better diagnostic tools and therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Cannell’s research focuses broadly on successful aging and late-life quality of life, including: preservation of physical
and cognitive function, living / aging successfully with disability, and
understanding / preventing elder abuse.

This page was last modified on August 16, 2017