Articles honor Caro’s research focus on age-friendly communities

The newest issue of the Journal of Aging & Social Policy (JASP) is dedicated to the memory of Frank Caro, PhD, the long-time editor of the journal, professor emeritus of gerontology at UMass Boston, and former director of the Gerontology Institute. The issue, “Honoring the Legacy of Frank Caro: Research at the Intersection of Policy and Practice in Age-Friendly Cities and Communities,” focuses on the global age-friendly movement to make environments and community systems more supporting of long and healthy lives, work that Caro pioneered and championed over the years.

“Accelerating the pace of systems change for aging equity requires not only the work of many sectors, but also the work of many generations,” says Emily Greenfield, PhD, professor of social work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and one of two guest editors for the special issue. “It is a privilege to build on the life’s work of Frank Caro as a scholar, mentor, advocate, and collaborator through co-editing this special issue. We hope it inspires much more good work to come, both within and outside of the university, in communities near and far, now and for generations to come.”

Adds fellow guest editor Tine Buffel, PhD, research fellow at the University of Manchester, “As the drive towards creating age-friendly cities and communities grows, this special issue advances knowledge on the processes and contexts towards enhancing residents’ health and wellbeing as they age in place. It has been an absolute pleasure and honor to work together with so many leading scholars in this area to develop this special issue to commemorate Frank Caro’s life and vital contributions to driving age-friendly change in communities.”

The issue includes an introductory essay offering background on the age-friendly cities and communities movement, citing its accomplishments and key challenges. The issue’s articles are organized under four themes: implementation and sustainability processes; partnerships and multisectoral collaboration; theory-based program design; and policy and practice diffusion. A final article offers an overview of Caro’s career contributions.

The issue feels personal for Edward Miller, PhD, who now holds two of Caro’s former positions as editor of JASP and chair of gerontology at UMass Boston. “Frank was a role model,” Miller says. “He was one of the architects of our gerontology program and editor of this journal, where I was first published. He was always encouraging and supportive.”

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