September 2, 2021
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Judi Dench, a prominent 85-year-old British actress and writer, an actor in different films such as’ Passionate Shakespeare ‘,’ Victoria and Abdul ‘among others, recently declared in an English newspaper that the word’ retirement ‘,’ stop working ‘It was a bad word, an ugly expression … that is to say’ nothing to see ‘.

We ask, what is it that makes this woman, an older adult, live with enthusiasm, the motivation to continue working, creating, participating… is it a successful aging process? productive, optimal, happy, as it is also called today?

Now that we aspire to live beyond 60 years of age, we see that there are different ways of aging and therefore the great heterogeneity of the aging process, some more favorable than others. There is no ‘typical’ older adult and there is a diversity of abilities and needs at this stage of life. Much depends on the life lived and the current one, and here, for some authors, the saying goes “one will be what one is.”

Being part of a privileged social category does not seem to be enough to successfully pass the tests of old age. The way of being, the personality, somehow conditions our long-term future and can predict the psychological health of people over 60 years of age. It is described as positive characteristics such as positive affections, good self-esteem, socialization, intellectual curiosity, tolerance, optimism. The person is able to take charge of his destiny if necessary, modifying his way, his vision of life and managing his own aging. The decline in physical ability, one of the most worrying aspects, is not necessarily the worst. Physical and intellectual abilities can remain relatively well or activate over the years, as well as the ability to learn new things. Many who are aging are flexible and have the ability to adapt, adjust to life changes; there are those who resist and seek to overcome and overcome difficult situations by mobilizing their psychological resources. I ask you, how are you getting older?

Havighurst, a gerontologist, scholar of lifestyle and life satisfaction in old age, proposed the term ‘successful aging’ in the 1960s. A term that is difficult to define due to its multidimensional and polysemic condition, since there is no typical older adult or equal ages. It is true that there are determining conditions of “good living” such as health, economic security, friends, family; however, it seems that these are not enough in the feelings and behaviors of the aging person. For some, old age is the stage of development, doing what could not be done before, being active, socializing; for others it is the time of rest, of withdrawal; there are those who do not even accept to be getting old or to be old.

You, what do you feel about your past life? And for the current one? Do you accept that you are already getting old or that you are already old, elderly? How are you living this stage? Are you happy, satisfied with your old age?

There are many theories related to good aging – theory of: activity, roles, continuity, disengagement, self-determination, among others -, with different arguments. In the end, it seeks to find those factors that influence this so-called ‘successful aging’ and that currently conclude in a multifactorial and integrative approach, which in turn allows the generation of interventions aimed at promoting successful aging. Aging well is learned and prepared.

Guidelines to keep in mind for successful aging.

  • Acceptance of oneself and existing limitations.
  • Readjust goals, challenges, according to individual capacity; This will facilitate the feeling of personal efficacy.
  • Have congruent goals (with yourself, with your own values ​​and capabilities).
  • Give up unattainable goals with a sense of reality.
  • Adopt new social roles and appropriate behaviors which will better manage the loss of roles, and the lost status.
  • Minimize deterioration caused by age and maximize profits.
  • Take responsibility for health and well-being. As much as possible, be responsible for the quality of your aging.
  • Optimize the channels through which information enters: sight, hearing, smell, taste.
  • Exercise body and mind. Take care of diet and affections.
  • Try to develop a disinterested attitude in the face of potentially stressful events.
  • Rehearse what to do with the difficulties encountered rather than face them with negative emotions. For example, abandoning resentment, hatred or anger towards a person who has offended or injured us, instead of seeking revenge.
  • Seek emotional relaxation and stress reduction.
  • Exercise self-observation, which will make it possible to identify the situations or moments of greatest vulnerability that can put adaptive capacities to the test.
  • Become aware of latent resources and unexploited potentialities.
  • Stimulate curiosity of spirit and creativity.
  • Develop plausible life projects.
  • Have a motivation, intrinsic (internal) and / or extrinsic (environment, society)




According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the last year 1 in 6 people over 60 years of age suffered some type of mistreatment, abuse, at the community level, being greater in geriatric residences and community care centers. Two out of every three workers in these institutions indicate having carried out mistreatment in the last year.

Elder abuse is defined (WHO) as the action, single or repeated, or the lack of the appropriate response, which occurs within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust and where such action produces damage or emotional distress to the elderly. ‘. The abuse can be: physical, psychological / emotional, economic, sexual, also reflect an act of intentional negligence or by omission. It is necessary to highlight, and in an important way, the structural violence translated into those situations in which there is damage in the satisfaction of human needs, such as adequate, timely and favorable health care. According to J Galtung’s scheme, unlike direct violence that is visible, structural and cultural violence are generally invisible.

This social problem, which goes almost unnoticed, exists in high- and low-income countries and is not sufficiently reported. The increase in the older adult population, especially in Latin America and Asia, highlights the importance of June 15, a day assigned by the United Nations as ‘World Day of Awareness of Abuse and Maltreatment in Old Age’, a date to promote awareness and awareness.

Now facing an unparalleled health crisis globally, older people have become one of its most visible victims. The crisis, in any order, generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the limitations of access to essential health services, reducing in the elderly population the reduction of critical services not related to the pandemic, increasing risks for the lives of older adults.

Not only that, but for those who pass through old age and have associated comorbidities, the decision regarding medical care to save lives has been and is difficult, prioritizing the ‘younger’, ‘healthier’ population. This generates the urgency to review the rights to life and health that older adults have and that they should be the same as for everyone else.


• Poor physical and mental health of the victim. Disabled people, with dementia and other limiting conditions.

• Mental disorders, alcohol and other substance abuse in the case of the aggressor. Those problematic, borderline, psychopathic, narcissistic, paranoid, passive-aggressive personalities stand out.

• Female gender, particularly from the cultural perspective where women may be devalued, considered as of a lower social status, simply because of gender.

• Sharing a home with the aggressor. In the case of children and direct relatives, consider the previous relationship with the older adult, be careful if it was dysfunctional; also, the economic dependence of the elderly (economic abuse); acts of negligence in care, considering a burden of care for a greater disability.

• Fear of the elderly to complain or report abuse.

• Weak, absent intergenerational family ties.

• Isolation and lack of social support.

• Lack of training, education, caregivers and disadvantageous remuneration for those paid.

• Poor primary care, not comprehensive, not adequate.

• Absence or lack of adaptation, application, of legal norms.

• Lack of participation from multiple sectors of society including the group of older adults who need and should be empowered.

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