So much of the discussion on successful aging is centered around the medical model and how to maintain function and reduce risk. But equally important, if not more important, are the psychological aspects of successful aging. What’s the point of being physically fit, have a low blood pressure and cholesterol, if were unhappy because we haven’t dealt with the psychological aspects of wellness and found meaning and purpose in late-life? One publication in the public domain is written by philosopher Howard Harriott, titled: Old Age, Successful Ageing and the Problem of Significance. This is deep and thought provoking for anyone exploring late-life and the meaning of life. He even quotes one other philosopher who states what he believes to be the meaning of life! Good luck! http://ethical-perspectives.be/viewpic.php?LAN=E&TABLE=EP&ID=966
Another excellent read is The Oxford Book on Aging. An interview with Thomas Cole, one of the authors, can be found at: http://reflections.yale.edu/article/test-time-art-aging/journey-life-interview-thomas-cole. This book is ripe with thoughts and insights on getting old, going back to the ancient philosophers B.C.
One older adult I have learned from said that in order to age successfully we must “Accept and adapt”. This means for those with disabilities, or who have experienced losses, successful aging takes on a broader meaning than being physically fit and active.