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Healthy Aging and Sustainable Development Goals

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (11 May 2024) | Viewed by 6835

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, T12 K8AF Cork, Ireland
Interests: ageism and elder abuse; sexuality in older age; the right to die; wellbeing across the lifespan; social support across the lifespan; coaching psychology

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Guest Editor
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Católica de Valencia, San Vicente Mártir, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain
Interests: the impact of digitalization on cognition; the ageing process; the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) analysis in a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are, as we know, living in a rapidly aging world. Life expectancy has increased remarkably in a short time, and the process is ongoing—most particularly in developing countries. Simultaneously, birth rates are falling in most areas of the world.

While the increase in longevity is to be celebrated, the demographic shifts we see naturally raise challenges. How can we promote healthy aging? How can we improve physical, psychological, cognitive and social wellbeing in older age? How can we adapt the world of work, and the nature of retirement, to meet the circumstances of the new reality?

And these changes are occurring in a particular context—climate change, increased awareness of pandemic risk, increased geopolitical and economic instability.

The UN has issued a collection of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which seek to address many of the issues faced by society today. A worthy initiative, and one which is noteworthy in part by the relative sparseness of reference to older people. While many are clearly relevant to the older population, specific reference—unlike with many other groups—is almost absent.

The aim of the current Special Issue is to examine how the SDGs might relate to the roles and the wellbeing of older people specifically. At such a conjuncture, it seems crucial for those of us working in the field to focus attention on these goals and on this question.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to)

  • health;
  • wellbeing;
  • the environment;
  • social roles;
  • work roles;
  • retirement.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Mike Murphy
Dr. Carmen Moret-Tatay
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ageing
  • older adults
  • wellbeing
  • cognition
  • healthy ageing
  • retirement
  • social support
  • demographic change
  • sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 258 KiB  
Article
Satisfaction with Life and Health Behaviours in Pre-Seniors and Seniors: A Cross-Sectional Cohort Study
by Mariola Głowacka, Grażyna Dykowska, Monika Gasik, Marzena Humańska and Mateusz Cybulski
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3040; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073040 - 5 Apr 2024
Viewed by 605
Abstract
Background: Satisfaction with life is considered the best indicator of the quality of life of older people and is commonly used as an indicator of adaptation and successful aging. The objective of this study is to evaluate the quality of life and health [...] Read more.
Background: Satisfaction with life is considered the best indicator of the quality of life of older people and is commonly used as an indicator of adaptation and successful aging. The objective of this study is to evaluate the quality of life and health among pre-seniors and seniors in Płock, Poland, focusing specifically on the interplay between life satisfaction and health outcomes. Methods: The study encompassed a total of 2040 individuals, categorized as pre-seniors and seniors. A diagnostic survey method was employed, utilizing a questionnaire that gathered sociodemographic data and incorporated two standardized psychometric scales: the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the Health Behaviours Inventory (HBI). Results: A majority of respondents demonstrated high levels of life satisfaction, with 1272 people (62.4%) scoring in the high range. In contrast, a smaller group, consisting of 299 respondents (14.7%), reported low satisfaction levels. Notably, men exhibited higher life satisfaction than women (p < 0.001). Additionally, a statistically significant but low correlation was found between the age of respondents and various aspects of the health behaviour index. This includes preventive behaviours (p < 0.001, r = 0.105), health practices (p < 0.001, r = 0.243), proper eating habits (p = 0.004, r = 0.063), and a positive mental attitude (p < 0.001, r = 0.098). These findings underline the complex interplay between age, life satisfaction, and health behaviours among the senior population. Conclusions: High life satisfaction and average to high levels of health behaviours were observed in our study, varying with gender and age. Individuals aged 61–75 reported the highest life satisfaction, whereas those aged 76–90 exhibited the most robust health behaviours. These results underscore the need for age- and gender-specific health policies and programs supporting sustainable aging, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals. Further national research is essential to comprehensively explore these trends and support global well-being initiatives for aging populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Aging and Sustainable Development Goals)
18 pages, 1638 KiB  
Article
Leisure and Happiness of the Elderly: A Machine Learning Approach
by Eui-Jae Kim, Hyun-Wook Kang and Seong-Man Park
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 2730; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16072730 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Leisure activities play an important role in improving happiness levels for the elderly. The purpose of this study is to explore leisure-related factors that affect the happiness of the elderly using machine learning algorithms. For this research, the 2019 National Leisure Activity Survey [...] Read more.
Leisure activities play an important role in improving happiness levels for the elderly. The purpose of this study is to explore leisure-related factors that affect the happiness of the elderly using machine learning algorithms. For this research, the 2019 National Leisure Activity Survey released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea, was used to analyze the data of 1769 elders over the age of 65 among 10,060 men and women aged 15 years and older in 17 cities and provinces nationwide, and it went through the process of data preprocessing, data segmentation, prediction model construction and evaluation, and model tuning. According to the findings of the study, the main factors predicting the happiness index of the elderly were leisure life satisfaction, leisure time, whether to use public leisure facilities, leisure policy satisfaction, and leisure activity companionship. The overall findings of this study imply that exploring sustainable policy towards the achievement of sustainable happiness for the elderly is important. Based on these results, policy measures to improve the happiness level of the elderly were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Aging and Sustainable Development Goals)
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12 pages, 239 KiB  
Article
The Role of a Community-Based Leisure Program for Older Adults’ Leisure-Time Physical Activity: A Focus on the Social–Ecological Model
by Sangguk Kang, Dong-Han Kim and Jaeseok Lee
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 14851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014851 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 894
Abstract
Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify how a community-based leisure program (CBLP) interacted with older adults’ leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) based on the social–ecological model. Method: Individual semi-structured interviews were completed with 19 older adults who participated in the Tennessee [...] Read more.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify how a community-based leisure program (CBLP) interacted with older adults’ leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) based on the social–ecological model. Method: Individual semi-structured interviews were completed with 19 older adults who participated in the Tennessee senior games (TSGs). Results: As a type of CBLP and an organizational factor, the TSGs were highly intertwined with intrapersonal factors, interpersonal factors, and community factors that enabled the older adults to easily access and enhance their LTPA. Intrapersonal factors, socioeconomic status, perceived functional ability, and three main motivation factors (i.e., physical health, positive feelings, and competition) emerged for TSG participation. As interpersonal factors, the majority of the older adults encountered the TSGs for the first time through their family, friends, coaches, doctors, or team colleagues. Conclusion: Participants were encouraged to maintain LTPA by interactions with other TSG participants. Community factors provided places and volunteers for a successful CBLP with advertisements (i.e., TV, board at gym). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Aging and Sustainable Development Goals)

Review

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18 pages, 5089 KiB  
Review
Age-Inclusive Healthcare Sustainability: Romania’s Regulatory and Initiatives Landscape in the European Union Context
by Flaviana Rotaru, Andreea Matei, Sorana D. Bolboacă, Ariana Anamaria Cordoș, Adriana Elena Bulboacă and Călin Muntean
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 1827; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16051827 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 3923
Abstract
Sustainable healthcare is “healthcare that is economical and has a positive impact on society”. Considering the definition of sustainable healthcare and the increase in life expectancy, the healthcare system is expected to face an increase in presentations addressed to healthcare facilities [...] Read more.
Sustainable healthcare is “healthcare that is economical and has a positive impact on society”. Considering the definition of sustainable healthcare and the increase in life expectancy, the healthcare system is expected to face an increase in presentations addressed to healthcare facilities of older persons with multiple chronic diseases. Age-friendly environments support active living of older persons and healthcare support in their home. Our goal was to assess how the regulatory landscape undertaken in Romania and the ongoing research project initiatives with Romanian partners reflect the concept of age-friendly environments. Romania had a poor overall active aging index (rank 26/28) and a decrease in life expectancy by 1.4 years in 2020, with a high gender gap of 8 years in favor of women. Key findings highlight the integration of EU principles into Romania’s policies, which emphasize inclusivity, non-discrimination, and active aging. Romania’s involvement in European collaborative initiatives is primarily through private associations, lacking representation from governmental structures. National focus in Romania has been on social services for the elderly. The partners in ongoing research projects range from enterprises to universities and research institutes. The majority of ongoing research focuses on assistive technology solutions. The findings underscore the importance of national, regional, and local attention to the environmental and societal aspects of age-friendly initiatives, alongside promoting technology acceptance and adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Aging and Sustainable Development Goals)
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