Measuring Resilient Aging in Different Populations of Older Adults


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Resilience, the ability to adapt and ‘bounce back’ despite adversity, has gained a lot of attention in the aging literature in the past decade. The risk of adverse events increases linearly with age and therefore focusing on factors that help older adults recover can result in improvements in care and quality of life for older adults. There is still no consensus on how to operationalize resilience in aging research. There is even less information on how divergent resilience is in populations under different epidemiological regimes. I therefore conduct a cross-national comparison on resilience to identify factors that promote or prevent resilience in a developed country and a developing country with important socioeconomic and demographic differences. I use data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study and the Health and Retirement Study in the United States to analyze how health, function, mental status and social status change over time after an adverse event. Both studies have similar designs and are nationally representative of adults over 50 years of age. I compare resilience in each of the four domains and examine the differences between Mexico and the United States. I conclude by proposing some ways in which these findings can be translated into improvements in patient care.



Resilience, Older Adults, Mexico, United States, Recovery