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Liat Ayalon, Ph.D. - International Federation on Ageing. Ramat Gan, , IL

Liat Ayalon, Ph.D. Liat Ayalon, Ph.D.

Professor | International Federation on Ageing

Ramat Gan, ISRAEL

I am a clinical psychologist and a Professor at Bar Ilan University.

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Liat Ayalon - Towards a world for all ages עושים סדר 07.02.2017 - תכנית מלאה מבט רב-תחומי על הזדקנות: הזדקנות ועובדים זרים בבתי חולים - ד סקר הבריאות,ההזדקנות והפרישה בישראל/מושב רביעי

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Biography

I was trained as a clinical psychologist, but did my internship in a psychiatric hospital and my post-doc in a geriatric department. I am currently in the school of social work and coordinate an international, multi-disciplinary, inter-sectorial Ph.D. program. As a result of these diverse exposures, my perspective has shifted from the micro-level, focused on the individual and his or her psychopathology to the meso- and macro-levels as they relate to normative processes in the lives of older adults.

A major interest of mine for the past decade has been the topic of ageism, defined by the World Health Organization as the stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice of people because of their age. Because ageism is not a purely theoretical concept, but has real life implications, I have been striving to use research to support policies and legislations of relevance to older adults.
Specifically, for the past four years, I have served as the chair of a COST Action on Ageism (COST IS1402; notoageism.com). COST stands for Cooperation in Science and Technology. It is the oldest funding mechanism in Europe which aims to connect researchers around a specific topic in order to enhance the field. Our COST Action encompassed over 200 researchers from 35 countries. We met regularly in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of what ageism is and what we should do to reduce it. This resulted in an edited book on ageism published by Springer (Contemporary perspectives on ageism). We also collaborated with several policy stakeholders, including the World Health Organization and Age-Platform Europe in order to ensure that our research informs policy and legislations. In collaboration with researchers and policy stakeholders, I developed an international Ph.D. program, funded under H2020, under the Marie Curie Scheme (Euroageism.eu). This program aims to train 15 early stage researchers to bridge the gap between science and policy.

I see these various projects as opportunities not only to improve the lives of older adults in society, but also to potentially impact my own life and the lives of my children. I realize it takes time and effort to modify current societal discourse and thinking. Yet, I am optimistic that we are heading in the right direction, towards a world for all ages.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Ageism Discrimination Mental Health Service Use and Clinical Outcomes in Older Adults Health Policy Research Mental Health Formal and Informal Care for Older Adults

Education (5)

University of California San Francisco: HRSA Postdoctoral Clinical/ Research Fellow, Geriatrics 2005

Department of Medicine, Mentor: Patricia Arean, Ph.D.

University of California San Francisco: Internship, Clinical Psychology 2003

Department of Psychiatry, Mentor: Patricia Areán, Ph.D.

Illinois Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Clinical Psychology 2002

Dissertation Title: "An explanatory model of racial variations in illness behaviors"

Illinois Institute of Technology: M.S., Psychology 2000

Thesis Title: "A comparison of depressive symptoms in African Americans and Caucasian Americans".

Ben-Gurion University: B.A. (Cum Laude), Behavioral Sciences 1996

Bachelor’s thesis title: "Motherland or home country: a comparative study of quality of life among Jews from the Soviet Union, who immigrated to Israel, Jews in Russia, and Israeli non-immigrants".

Media Appearances (1)

Israeli University To Host Symposium Combating Ageism

The Jerusalem Post  online

2017-11-14

“Aging has become one of the greatest promises of society,” Professor Liat Ayalon of Bar-Ilan’s Louis and Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work said in a statement ahead of the conference. “For the first time in history, older adults have outnumbered children worldwide. Moreover, most people are expected to live into their sixties and beyond. It is, therefore, our duty to ensure a world for all ages, where age is not a barrier. We will aim to change the way we think, feel and act towards age and aging.”

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Event Appearances (7)

The challenges and new directions in the conduct of transnational elder care research

Long term care crisis: Tapping into labour resources within and across national borders  Mainz, Germany

Keynote Speaker - Ageism: Challenges and new directions

The bi-annual meeting of IAGG-ER  Gothenburg, Sweden

Active aging

The Prime Minister’s round table on aging  Tel Aviv, Israel

Recommended measures for the assessment of ageism: Results from a systematic review of the psychometric properties of ageism measures

The bi-annual meeting of IAGG-ER  Gothenburg, Sweden

From a Bird’s Eye View: Whole Social Networks in Adult Day Care Centers and Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Gerontological Society of America  Boston, MA

Will You Still Need Me? The Longitudinal Associations of Social Usefulness and Aging Self-perceptions

Symposium on Ageism from a Multi-Disciplinary Perspective  Gothenburg, Sweden

Push and pull factors of job seekers who consider employment as home care workers for older adults

Annual meeting of Espanet-Israel  Rupin, Israel

Research Grants (7)

Gendering age-Representations of masculinities and ageing in contemporary European literatures and cinemas

GENDER-NET consortium $100,000 Euro

2018-2021
Israeli Principal Investigator

Euro-Ageism Innovative Training Network

Horizon 2020 $4,000,000 Euro (approx.)

2017-2021
Coordinator (with 7 other beneficiaries; 5 partners)

Evaluation of a training program for paraprofessional home care workers with older adults

National Insurance Institute of Israel 

2016-2019
PI (with Shanan-Altman)

The quality of healthcare services provided to older adults regarding sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction

The Israel National Institute for Health Policy & Health Services Research 

2016-2017
PI (with Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan, Margalit Goldfracht, Uri Gur)

A longitudinal study of social networks in the continuing care retirement community.

Israel Science Foundation $150,000

2016-2020
PI

Home care to older adults in the North of Israel: A cross-cultural comparison.

National Insurance Institute of Israel $50,000

2016-2018
PI

Barrier to pursuing home care positions among job seekers

National Insurance Institute of Israel $30,000

2016-2018
co-PI

Featured Articles (8)

From a bird's eye view: Whole social networks in adult day care centers and continuing care retirement communities Innovating in Aging

Ayalon, L. Yahav, I., & Lesser, O.

2018

Each respondent received a list of names of all individuals receiving services in the respective ADCC or CCRC and was asked to indicate whom he/she knows from the list. We derived whole social network properties and used hierarchical cluster analysis to group network settings. We further examined the ability of the social network data to classify respondents as members of either an ADCC or a CCRC.

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A Typology of Source of Information About the Continuing Care Retirement Community and Older Adults’ Living Arrangement Journal of Housing For The Elderly

Liat Ayalon & Amber Gum

2018

A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) represents a residential alternative for older adults. It offers a variety of social and health care services to meet older adults’ needs and preferences. Using the theory of innovation as a theoretical basis, the overall goal of the study was to use the source of information about the CCRC as a potential predictor of the decision to move.

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Older Adults’ Coping Strategies With Changes in Sexual Functioning: Results From Qualitative Research The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Liat Ayalon, PhD, Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan, PhD and Inbar Levkovich, PhD

2018

7 coping strategies that were differentially employed by men and women were identified. These strategies were classified along a continuum of internal (involving only the person being affected by the change) vs external (involving others) strategies. External strategies involved other people and services, such as a primary care provider or a counselor, whereas internal strategies were confined to intrapsychic experiences, such as an acceptance of the fact that sex was no longer part of life.

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Why Do Older Adults Have Sex? Approach and Avoidance Sexual Motives Among Older Women and Men The Journal of Sex Research

Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan & Liat Ayalon

2018

Although many older adults reportedly maintain an active sex life, limited research has focused on the reasons they engage in sex. The present study identified and described sexual motives in the second half of life reported by 47 older adults.

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On the edge: The association between extreme values of proportional feltage and functioning Psychiatry Research

Yuval Palgia, Liat Ayalon, Sharon Avidor, Dikla Segel-Karpas, Ehud Bodnerd,

2018

Data were drawn from 4938 participants, who completed the 2008 and 2012 questionnaires of the Healthand-Retirement-Study (HRS). Participants were divided into four groups according to their reported proportional-felt-age: the normative-young (N = 2229), reported a normative felt-age at the median or younger; normative-old (N = 2226), reported normative felt-age at the median and older; and the extremely young and extremely old proportional-felt-age (upper and lower 5% of felt-age; N’s = 242 and 241, respectively).

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A Life Course Perspective on the Ways Older Men and Women Discuss Sexual Issues Archives of Sexual Behavior

Liat Ayalon, Inbar Levkovich, Ateret Gewirtz‑Meydan, Khaled Karkab

2018

The present study examined how older adults communicate about sexual issues in light of the tremendous societal changes that have taken place with regard to sexuality in the past few decades. We relied on interviews with 47 Israelis 60 years of age and older who were instructed to discuss sexuality in old age and its unique characteristics, using semi-structured interviews.

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A qualitative evidence synthesis review of longitudinal qualitative research in gerontology The Gerontologist

Nevadeal, A., Ayalon, L. & Briller, S.

2018

Gerontologists have long been interested in longitudinal qualitative research (LQR), yet ambiguity remains about best practices. The purpose of this review was to conduct a qualitative evidence synthesis to identify strengths and limitations in existing gerontological LQR.

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Are Older Adults Perceived as A Threat to Society? Exploring Perceived Age-Based Threats in 29 Nations The Journals of Gerontology: Series B

Ayalon, L.

2017

The present study adds to the current body of literature by simultaneously examining the public perception of young and old people as posing realistic threats (e.g., to the group’s power, resources, and welfare) and symbolic threats (e.g., to one’s world view, belief system and values).

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