Issues in Intergenerational Health
Peter J. Whitehouse
Aging is about change. All living creatures age and, in fact, the universe ages as well. Aging as an idea is malleable. As a socially constructed label, the concept of aging has and will continue to evolve. How we envision our aging through time—in our academic work and in our lives—will create our futures as we evolve biologically and culturally.
This book and the conference upon which it was based were designed to enrich our thinking and enliven our passions about aging both as persons and as professionals. Although global in scope, the Cleveland region is our special focus. Our conference was held on October 13, 2002 just before The Cleveland Foundation launched its Successful Aging Initiative at its own conference on October 21. This initiative was based on the recognition that the Cleveland region has one of the oldest populations outside the Sunbelt and was designed to improve the opportunity for aging successfully. This chapter links both October events and offers a personal view of the lessons learned from these and subsequent events. It concludes by outlining some examples of new innovative community programs for all aging individuals—in other words, all of us.
Both our Case Western Reserve University (Case) Center for Aging and Health and the Cleveland Foundconferences featured the concept of successful aging. As Moody (in this volume) points out in his chapter, this is an old concept much celebrated as part of