Drawing on multidisciplinary research focusing on a spectrum ranging from individual experience to structural system-level risk response and resilience, this article develops a rationale for a Unified Model of Resilience and Aging (UMRA). In response to a broad range of adversities associated with aging, it details the ways in which some individuals are able to bounce back better than others, or adapt better than expected, termed resilience. However, resilience and aging theoretical models have developed out of different disciplinary developments, ranging from individual levels to structural level complex systems, including several gerontological theoretical models addressing adaptation to life course and aging processes. The article reviews and synthesizes prior conceptual and theoretical work, and their empirical groundings, in order to develop an integrated resilience model with wide applications to aging-related problems including chronic illness, mental health, widowhood, poverty, caregiving burden, etc. The article focuses specifically on COVID-19 pandemic risk, response and resilience in order to specify applications of the UMRA, and to suggest avenues for future research and testing of theoretical axioms.
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