will “shape policies and programs that make the most of the benefits of enhanced longevity into late life for both individuals and society.”
The symposium consisted of six panels. The first panel addressed scientific research on the biology of aging and frailty, with further attention to health care at the end of life. The second panel concerned the steps that individuals and society can take to enhance healthy aging, ranging from healthy behaviors to new technologies. The next two panels addressed economic issues, including macroeconomic effects of aging populations and concerns about income security and health care financing. The final two panels turned to issues of social institutions and policies as well as the response of communities to aging populations. In the final group discussion, several participants offered their perspectives. Appendix A is the symposium agenda. Appendix B is a list of recent National Academies publications bearing on the topics touched on here. Appendix C provides biographical sketches of the planning committee members and presenters.
This report is a summary of the presentations and discussions that took place at the symposium. As such, it is limited to the views presented and discussed during the workshop. The broader scope of issues pertaining to this subject area is recognized but could not be addressed in this summary. In addition, as a summary, this document is not a transcript of each panelist’s presentation, but rather a distillation of the themes of their presentations. All statements and opinions in this summary are directly attributable to the workshop speakers.
A variety of research opportunities and priorities were identified across the two days of the event. All aim to respond to grand challenges so that an aging society can be good for all members of that society, improving the economic, social, and physical well-being of the aging population while strengthening economies and societies. As speaker Linda Fried affirmed, “If we can redesign societal approaches so that they are both great for people as they get older and great for society because they help bring wisdom and experience of an aging population to bear on unmet social needs, then we could have a new kind of social compact.”
Center for the Demography and Economics of Aging
University of California, Berkeley
Aging may be considered from three different perspectives: (1) individual aging, (2) population aging, and the (3) global age profile. An individual’s aging has many components, including biological, emotional, and cogni-