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Age Matters: health, older people and gerohygiene in the late Soviet Union

Grant, S (2023) Age Matters: health, older people and gerohygiene in the late Soviet Union. Medical History: An International Journal for the History of Medicine and Related Sciences, 66 (3). pp. 207-224. ISSN 0025-7273

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/mdh.2022.17 (Published version)


In the late Soviet period, a great deal of research was conducted on older people's health, with the Institute of Gerontology Academy of Medical Sciences (AMN) USSR in Kyiv spearheading a great deal of this. Of particular interest was older people's ability to work beyond retirement age, the issue of premature ageing, as well as physical activity, diet and living conditions. Many of these interests came under the concept of 'gerohygiene', which also reflected the Soviet Union's prophylactic approach to eldercare (and healthcare more generally). Discussions about older people and Soviet research on gerohygiene are important for furthering our understanding of ideas around healthy ageing and the Soviet project more generally. The Soviet, and indeed socialist, research on gerohygiene sheds light on ideas around active ageing, premature ageing and work practices for older people. It also shows that the role of old people belonged to the wider Soviet effort of contributing to the communist project and shaping society. In this article, I define and examine the broad concept of 'gerohygiene' and then assess how gerohygiene applied to older people's health in relation to both physical activity and labour.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2103 Historical Studies; 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields; History of Science, Technology & Medicine
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > C Auxiliary sciences of history (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2023 10:12
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 10:12
DOI or ID number: 10.1017/mdh.2022.17
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18976
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