Life is full of major stressful events. Our ability to be resilient in the face of challenges can make even the most daunting situations manageable.
An ageing family member who needs caregiving. The death of a loved one. A financial setback. A major health issue. Possibly a combination of these factors. Each year comes with new challenges that creates resilience that in turn helps people to continue in, and with, life. Conceivably the pressures and outcomes are so intense that frailty can set in making people vulnerable.
Globally people are exploring the link between vulnerability and resilience in helping older people overcome the effects of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even major sources of stress. Living longer, by nature, will increase the likelihood and increased incidence of events that will require the ‘struggle muscle’ of resilience to kick in.
At the same time, the United Nations, as part of a global strategy for sustainability, cites resilience as one of the essential ‘cornerstones’ of supporting, and harnessing, the power of an increasingly ageing population.
Prompting the questions:
- What exactly is resilience?
- Why is it part of an international agenda on sustainability and ageing?
- What creates, or builds on, resilience?
- What factors form an integral part of the resilience creation process? How does resilience help to counter frailty, and vulnerability, among an ageing population?
Resilience has focused on situations where it is an essential element to help people contend with change. Usually it involves situations that have the potential to be unpleasant or undesirable.
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Published: July 2022
To be reviewed: July 2025