Aging in Israel
Research, Policy and Practice
In the twentieth century, all developed nations began to undergo unprecedented demographic changes, as their birth rates declined, and life expectancies increased significantly —an average of thirty years in less than a century. These developments have caused major transformations in the composition of populations in these countries, especially in terms of the proportions of the various age groups. While the age groups of children and adolescents have decreased, those of elderly persons aged 65 and over, have increased.
Consistent with the situation in other developed nations, the absolute number and percentage of elderly persons in the Israeli population is increasing, while the percentage of younger persons is decreasing. Israel, however, differs from other developed countries in the pace of this demographic change, the composition of its population, and the ways it can address needs related to aging. The demographic figures in Israel indicate that not only is the proportion of elderly persons in the total population growing, but that the old population itself is rapidly aging as well.
This volume exemplifies how social science research can promote knowledge about and understanding of needs and opportunities for adaptation, and assist in evaluating the outcomes of policies and services on the personal, community and national levels, as well as suggest required changes. The variety of topics covered in this volume on age-related research, policies and practice reflects a wide range of research by Israeli scholars on social aspects of aging. Their research offers a glimpse into the knowledge base that has been built over the years on the aging process in Israel, the population of elderly people, and the national policies and network of services for the aged. Other developed countries with aging populations have much to learn from the Israeli experience.
"Aging in Israel provides an important collection of multidisciplinary research papers by Israeli scholars that focus on a range of psycho-social aspects of aging. [They] offer valuable insights into how a modern nation-state is addressing the multifaceted phenomenon of an aging population. Professor Carmel [brings] together a group of Israeli scholars from a multiplicity of professions who collectively address themes from a multidisciplinary approach involving losses in old age, diversity, quality of life, successful aging, care and care giving, and survival in old age. Aging in Israel is a text that holds much value worldwide for students, researchers, social workers, policymakers and health care personnel who are searching for new insights and understandings of human aging." —Terence Seedsman, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
"I welcome the publication of Aging in Israel, edited by Sara Carmel, a colleague at The International Longevity Centre�Israel. Israel is a uniquely positioned developed country due to its extraordinarily culturally and ethnically diverse population. Like other developed countries, it is facing challenges to the economy, to health and social care services, and to formal and informal support systems due to an ever-increasing aging population. Aging in Israel explores intergenerational relations, communal lifestyles, and losses and changes in old age because of the high incidence of dementia and chronic disease, [and other] determinants of quality of life for this fast-expanding segment of the population. This book is not only recommended to people interested in Israel specifically but anyone with an interest in ageing and longevity more generally; with excellent comparisons with the situation in Canada and the United States." —Baroness Sally Greengross, Crossbench (independent) Peer, House of Lords, and Chief Executive, International Longevity Centre, UK
Aging in Israel, edited by Sara Carmel, examines quality of life in the face of adversities. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the complexity and diversity of aging from the perspectives of environmental demands, individual differences, stability, and change with the passage of time." —Leonard W. Poon, Director, Institute of Gerontology and Georgia Geriatric Education Center, and chair, Faculty of Gerontology, University of Georgia
“[O]nly by studying the experience of aging outside the North American environment can we really begin to discern the factors that might be universal from those that seem to be particular to the experience of aging. For that reason, this book is important for those with an interest in aging in Israel and for the field in general… [T]he reader gains a rich description and an understanding of the experience of aging in one society and the diversity that exists within that society and hints about how this information may be useful to researchers in other countries.”
– Allen Glicksman, The Gerontologist