Aging Beyond Frailty: The Future of Old Age

  • Cees Hertogh
Part of the Ethics and Health Policy book series (EHP, volume 1)


Growing old is a personal challenge for every human being and a positive appreciation of men’s final years has never been self evident, on the contrary. There is a long, deeply rooted belief, that old age is an inevitably dark perspective awaiting everyone, given he has time enough to life. Consider, for example, Plato ’s words, quoted here above and taken from his book Epinomis.


Successful Aging Frailty Index Life Style Intervention Interventionist Concept Physician Assisted Death 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Achterberg, W.P., G. Gambassi,  H. Finne-Soveri, et al. 2010. Pain in European long-term care facilities: cross-national study in Finland, Italy and The Netherlands. Pain 148(1): 70–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baltes, P.B., and J. Smith. 2003. New frontiers in the future of aging: from successful aging of the young old to the dilemmas of the fourth age. Gerontology 48: 123–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baltes, P.B., and K.U. Mayer., eds. 1999. The Berlin aging study: Aging from 70–100. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bayer, A., and W. Tadd. 2000. Unjustified exclusion of elderly from studies submitted to research ethics committee for approval: descriptive study. BMJ 321(7267): 992–993.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, G. 1994. The oldest old: autonomy in the face of frailty. Journal of Aging Studies 8(1): 59–76PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bergman, H., L. Ferruci, J. Guralnik, et al. 2007. Frailty: an emerging research and clinical paradigm. Issues and controversies. Journal of Gerontological Medical Science 62(7): 731–737.Google Scholar
  7. Campen, C. Van. 2011. Kwetsbare ouderen (frail elderly). Den Haag: Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau.Google Scholar
  8. Canguilhem, G. 1968. Études de l’histoire et de philosophie des sciences. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
  9. Chater, K. 2002. Aging: a body of resistance. Nursing and Health Science 4(3): 123–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cicero. 2009. Cato Major, or discourse on old age. Charleston NC: Bibliolife.Google Scholar
  11. Deeg, D.J.H., and M.T.E. Puts. 2007. Het kwetsbare succes van ouder worden (The vulnerable succes of aging). Tijdschr Verpleeghuisgeneeskunde 32: 147–151.Google Scholar
  12. Descartes, R. 1960. Discourse on method and meditations. New York: The Liberal Arts Press.Google Scholar
  13. Fillit, H., and R.N. Butler. 2009. The frailty identity crisis. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 57(2): 348–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Foucault, M. 1988. The care of the self. New York: Vintage books.Google Scholar
  15. Fried, L.P., C.M. Tangen, J. Watson, et al. 2001. Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype. Journals of Gerontology A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 56A(3): 146–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fries, J.F. 1980. Aging, natural death, and the compression of morbidity. New England Journal of Medicine 303(3): 130–135.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fries, J.F. 2005. The compression of morbidity. The Milbank Quarterly 83(4): 801–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fries, J.F. 2002. Reducing disability in older age. JAMA 288(24): 3164–3166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fries, J.F., B. Bruce, and E. Chakravarty. 2011. Compression of morbidity 1980–2011: a founded review of paradigms and progress. Journal of Aging Research. doi: 10.4061/2011/261702.Google Scholar
  20. Gilleard, C., and P. Higgs. 2010. Aging without agency: theorizing the fourth age. Aging and Mental Health 14(2): 121–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gilleard, C., and P. Higgs. 2010. Frailty, disability and old age: A re-appraisal Health. doi: 10.1177/1363459310383595.Google Scholar
  22. Grenier, A. 2007. Constructions of frailty in the English language, care practice and lived experience. Aging & Society 27(3): 425–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Grimley, Evans J. 1998. Aging. In Clinical futures, ed. M. Marinker, and M. Peckham, p. 174. London: BMJ Books.Google Scholar
  24. Hadot, P. 1995. Philosophy as a way of life. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Hertogh, C.M.P.M. 2009. PREDICT: ontwikkeling van een handvest voor ouderenparticipatie in klinisch geneesmiddelenonderzoek. (PREDICT: Development of a charter for older people in clinical trials.). Tijdschr Gerontol Geriatr 40: 180–183.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hertogh, C.M.P.M. 2010. De Senectute: Ehtiek en kwetsbaarheid. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit (De Senectute: ethics and vulnaribility. Inaugural Address. Amsterdam: VU University).Google Scholar
  27. Hogan, D.B., C. MacKnight, and H. Bergman. 2003. Models, definitions, and criteria of frailty. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research 15(3): 3–29.Google Scholar
  28. Huber. M, J.A. Knottnerus, L.G. Green, et al. 2011. How should we define Health?. BMJ. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4163.Google Scholar
  29. Jones, D.M., X. Song, and K. Rockwood. 2004. Operationalizing a frailty index from a Standardized Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52(11): 1929–1933.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kaufman, S.R. 1994. The social construction of frailty: an anthropological perspective. Journal of Aging Studies 8(1): 45–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kirkwood, T.B.L, and M.A. Ritter. 1997. The interface between aging and health in man. Age and Aging 26(4): 9-14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kuh, D. 2007. A life course approach to healthy aging, frailty and capability. Journal of Gerontological of Medical Science 62A(7): 717–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lang, P.O., J.P. Michel, and D. Zekry. 2009. Frailty Syndrome: a transitional state in a dynamic process. Gerontology 55(5): 539–549.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lasslett, P. 1989. A fresh map of life: the emergence of the third age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Levy, B., O. Ashman, and I. Dror. 1999. To be or not to be: the effects of aging stereotypes on the will to live. Omega (Westport) 40(3): 409–420.Google Scholar
  36. Markle-Reid, M., and G. Browne. 2003. Conceptualizations of frailty in relation of older adults. Journal of Advanced Nursing 44(1): 58–68.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Puts, M.T.E. 2006. Frailty: biological risk factors, negative consequences and quality of life. VU Amsterdam: Thesis.Google Scholar
  38. Rockwood, K. 2005. What would make a definition of frailty successful?. Age and Aging 34(5): 432–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rowe, J.W., and R.L. Kahn. 1998. Successful aging. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  40. Spielman, B.J. 1986. Rethinking paradigms in geriatric ethics. Journal of Religion and Health 25(2): 142–148.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tallis, R. 2004. Hippocratic oaths, medicine and its discontents. Atlantic books: London.Google Scholar
  42. Tavani, C. 1978. A staff report. Public policy and the frail elderly. (DHEW publication no. (OHDS) 79–20959). Washington: Department of Health, Education and Welfare.Google Scholar
  43. Taylor, C. 2004. Modern social imaginaries. Durham NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Tinetti, M.E., and T. Fried. 2004. The end of the disease era. American Journal of  Medical 116(3): 179–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tronto, J.C. 1993. Moral boundaries. A political argument for an ethic of care. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Vaillant, G.E., and K. Mukamol. 2001. Succesful aging. American Journal of Psychiatry 158(6): 839–847.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Walker, M.U. 1998. Moral understandings. A feminist study in ethics. New York: Roultledge.Google Scholar
  48. Zuidema, S.U., E. Derksen, F.R. Verhey, and R.T. Koopmans. 2007. Prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in a large sample of Dutch nursing home patients with dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 22(7): 632–638.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VUmc University Medical Center AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations