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This panel will collate papers providing insights from critical gerontology and medical anthropology for exploring the intersection of aging and disability studies and its implications for understanding later life trajectories across diverse cultures.
Aging is an inevitable yet complex part of living. Not all global aging experiences are the same, depending on factors including health care access, sex/gender, inequalities/inequities, employment status, and attitudes of individuals, communities, and cultures. With an ever-increasing and ever-aging global population, there has been a split in recent gerontological literature between the parallel trajectories of active successful aging (and agers) and of vulnerability and frailty among elderly adults. We argue that amongst the discussions on active-versus-frail life trajectories, it is also important to acknowledge the unique intersectionality of aging and disability, through the lenses of critical gerontology and medical anthropology, with special attention given to realistic cultural models and perspectives of ‘aging with disability’ and ‘age-related disability’. Exploring the coexistence of aging and disability has wide-ranging implications for health and social care services, societal structure, societal well-being, and informing attitudes towards aging. This leads to important questions, such as:
● What does it mean to age ‘successfully’ or ‘unsuccessfully’?
● How do older adults with pre-existing disabilities vary from those with age-acquired disabilities?
● Is it possible to have a good quality of life and well-being alongside aging with disabilities?
● How do sociocultural factors impact global attitudes and experiences of aging and/or disability?
We look forward to papers that focus on any country and any form of disability intersecting with aging. Papers may consider either ‘aging with a disability’ or ‘age-related disability’ and the implications of these as understood across social gerontology, medical anthropology, disability studies, and beyond.
Victoria Cluley (University of Nottingham)
Corinna Thellmann (Brighton and Sussex Medical School) Gemma Aellah (BSMS) Gail Davey (Brighton Sussex Medical School) Papreen Nahar (University of Sussex)
Eva Ferrarova (Charles University Prague) Tereza Krouzkova (Tereza Kroužková)
Meredith Evans (University of Toronto Scarborough) Alexandra Rego Sidrah Zafar (University of Toronto Scarborough)
Angela Zhang (The University of Adelaide)
Irena Veljanova (Western Sydney University)
Christopher Zraunig (Princeton University)
Camilla Hansen (Oslo Metropolitan University)