We are in the midst of a longevity revolution – with the average life expectancy increasing. Instead of the rare individual reaching age 85 and older, most of us have an excellent chance of making it to this age. Today’s active adult is more vital, remains mentally stimulated and physically active as a result of participating in various recreational, educational and social activities.
What couldn’t be further from the truth is the perception that as soon as a person is old, they are automatically considered of little value, or a burden on society, or slow to accept change, or a whole myriad of negative images. The sooner we combat the negative societal perceptions of older people as non-valuable and non-productive the sooner the better. Older people are part of the cycle of life and positive perceptions should replace the traditional pessimistic stereotype of the aging.
This is a time to acknowledge the significant contributions of older adults and renew our commitment to the well being of older adults and the living of their golden years in good health. I have the pleasure of spending my days with many, many older adults who have made a real difference and a distinct positive contribution to this community.
Not only are people living longer, a greater percentage of the population is older, and that trend will continue - with the emergence of the national “Elder Boom” that will result over the next 10+ years. By 2020, the over 65 population in the
is projected to double and the number of Americans over 85 is expected to be more than quadruple in the same time period. There will soon be more older people in the U.S. than younger people. U.S.