Eva Kahana, Distinguished University Professor and the Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson Professor of the Humanities, recently introduced the inaugural issue of the Journal of Elder Policy (JEP). The goal of the journal is to showcase cutting-edge scholarship in the field of aging and the social sciences and offer guidelines for practice and policy benefiting and protecting older adults.
The first issue features contributions from seven eminent scholars whose work spans issues of intergenerational family support, long-term care, financing healthcare for frail older adults, public guardianship, age-friendly cities, ageism in society and living with vulnerabilities such as HIV/AIDS.
In her opening editorial, Kahana, who serves as JEP editor-in-chief, points out that the COVID-19 pandemic, which grew as the journal went to press, disproportionately threatens the lives of older people.
She writes, “Rather than focusing on policies that can benefit and protect older persons, the discourse has precipitously shifted to concerns about the social costs of protecting older persons, people with disabilities, and those with health-related vulnerabilities (Grzelka, 2020). This has resulted in militant manifestations of ageism and resentment directed toward older adults.”
With the significant growth of the older population worldwide and with social changes impacting opportunities for this group, it’s critical to understand how policies shape life chances and life choices of the elderly, she adds.
Kahana teaches courses in Stress, Health and Coping, Sociology of Institutional Care and Sociology of Mental Illness. Her recent work focuses on health care of older adults and the health care relationships forged between patients, physicians and family caregivers. She is director of the Elderly Care Research Center at Case Western Reserve and serves as director of the Gerontological Studies minor and co-major.
The journal’s publication has been made possible by support from the Dean’s Office, and members of the Case Western Reserve University faculty serve on the advisory board. It is published by the Policy Studies Organization in Washington, D.C. Article abstracts are translated into Spanish and Chinese.