a1 School of Social Work, The University of Michigan, 1065 Frieze Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1285, U.S.A.
Older people are increasing in number and proportion of the population in Latin America and, as they do their health needs and social resources are becoming more apparent. In response, gerontologiacal health promotion is emerging as a new field emphasizing the community as a unit of health and the participation of older people in the process. Recognizing the need for more empirical research on the topic, this paper identifies initiatives that promote the health of perople in Costa Rica, Chile, and Argentina, by enabling them to plan programmes, develop services, and advocate change at the community level. It analyzes some of their common themes, and discusses general prospects for the future.