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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 817813, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/817813
Review Article

Active Aging Promotion: Results from the Vital Aging Program

1Department of Psychology, Madrid Open University (UDIMA), Collado Villaba, 28400 Madrid, Spain
2Institute for Advanced Social Studies, Spanish National Research Council, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
3University Program for Older Adults (PUMA), Autonomous University of Madrid, Cantoblanco Campus, 28049 Madrid, Spain
4Department of Psychobiology and Health, Autonomous University of Madrid, Cantoblanco Campus, 28049 Madrid, Spain
5University of La Habana, 11600 La Habana, Cuba
6Gerontology Research Group, National Autonomous University of Mexico, FES Zaragoza Campus, 09230 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
7Older Adults Program, Catholic University of Chile, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Santiago, Chile

Received 4 June 2012; Revised 17 October 2012; Accepted 4 November 2012

Academic Editor: Jean Marie Robine

Copyright © 2013 Mariagiovanna Caprara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Active aging is one of the terms in the semantic network of aging well, together with others such as successful, productive, competent aging. All allude to the new paradigm in gerontology, whereby aging is considered from a positive perspective. Most authors in the field agree active aging is a multidimensional concept, embracing health, physical and cognitive fitness, positive affect and control, social relationships and engagement. This paper describes Vital Aging, an individual active aging promotion program implemented through three modalities: Life, Multimedia, and e-Learning. The program was developed on the basis of extensive evidence about individual determinants of active aging. The different versions of Vital Aging are described, and four evaluation studies (both formative and summative) are reported. Formative evaluation reflected participants’ satisfaction and expected changes; summative evaluations yielded some quite encouraging results using quasi-experimental designs: those who took part in the programs increased their physical exercise, significantly improved their diet, reported better memory, had better emotional balance, and enjoyed more cultural, intellectual, affective, and social activities than they did before the course, thus increasing their social relationships. These results are discussed in the context of the common literature within the field and, also, taking into account the limitations of the evaluations accomplished.