Living Gerontology: Providing Long-Distance, Long-term Care

Gerontologist. 2017 Feb;57(1):54-60. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw107. Epub 2016 Jul 31.


My own living and working through normative family transitions of parent care (as both a professional gerontologist and an intergenerational family member) facilitated five important kinds of growth: (a) providing parent care with optimal integrity; (b) understanding, elaborating, and teaching life-cycle theory with increasing depth; (c) using this theory to enrich practice approaches to long-term care; (d) identifying valuable new research directions; and (e) creating a multidimensional professional life that furthers theoretical development and identifies practice principles that promote individual, familial, and societal experiences of a "good old age." This reflective essay addresses these different kinds of growth, as they emerged from and contribute to the ever-developing gerontological domains of theory and practice.

Keywords: Erikson; Life-cycle theory; Person-centered care; Practice; Theory; Vital involvement.

Publication types

  • Personal Narrative

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia / nursing
  • Female
  • Housing for the Elderly*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care*
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Parents
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Professional-Family Relations*