chapter  16
20 Pages

Soldier and Family Wellness Across the Life Course: A Developing Role for Social Workers

General Douglas MacArthur may be best remembered for his retirement message before Congress, in which he declared, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." Didactically more notable, however, may be the general's digest on the victuals of "youth" and his view

that age was not a vital variable in achieving and maintaining "youthfulness." Seminal reviews on successful human aging have argued similarly that the negative effects of the aging process itself have been exaggerated and suggested that change in lifestyle, diet, exercise, personal habits, and psychosocial factors can modify the vicissitudes of age (Rowe and Kahn, 1997, 1998; Parker et al., 1995). The current health promotion zeitgeist and its associated themes of exercise, diet, and increased awareness of at-risk behaviors, coupled with the highly touted cost savings associated with efficacious prevention programs, provide an opportunity for those concerned with successful aging and health promotion.