Mindful Sustainable Aging: Advancing a Comprehensive Approach to the Challenges and Opportunities of Old Age
School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden; School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden
Pia H. Bülow
School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden; Department of Social Work, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden
The primary aim of this article is to present a new concept called mindful sustainable aging (MSA), which is informed by mindfulness practices that support the physical, the mental, and especially, the social and the existential dimensions of old life. The concept of MSA is discussed and compared with four influential psychosocial theories in the field of gerontology, i.e., activity theory, disengagement theory, successful aging theory and gerotranscendence theory. The article ends with reviewing research on how mindfulness practice can help to manage, diminish and/or improve a number of serious physical conditions that are common among older people. The potential of mindfulness when it comes to facilitating for older adults in their quest for spiritual and existential meaning is discussed extensively throughout the article.