chapter  1
Understanding successful ageing, key challenges and research methods
ByRiby, Leigh, Greer, Joanna, Martinon, Léa M. and Reay, Jonathon L.
Pages 12

During the previous two decades, academics, health care professionals, and members of the general public have been relentless with their desire to further explore and understand the multidimensional relationship between ageing, physical health, and psychological wellbeing. In particular, there has been substantial interest in the role that individual differences, lifestyle choices, and the environment play in typical and atypical ageing; exploring their impact on disease aetiology, disease progression, treatment plans, and more recently, disease prevention is essential. This increased interest and scientific enquiry is largely due to the estimated additional 400 million adults who will be 80 years and over by the year 2050 (World Health Organization, 2014). Moreover, the associated exponential rise in age-related health care problems is coupled with a current lack of suitable interventions and understanding. As a result, there is now a race to uncover and understand the secrets of ‘successful ageing’ to slow the onset and progression of the inevitable age-related health problems.