Actively Aging

Actively Aging

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Oldsters Soon to Outnumber Youngsters

The world is about to see a mind-blowing demographic situation that will be a first in human history: There are about to be more elderly people than young children.
For some time now, demographers and economists have observed that the proportion of elderly adults around the world is rising, while the proportion of younger children is falling.
But within a few years, just before 2020, adults aged 65 and over will begin to outnumber children under the age of 5 among the global population, according to a chart shared by a Bank of America Merrill Lynch team led by Beijia Ma, citing an earlier report from the US Census Bureau.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, December 30, 2016

We're Living Longer, But Are We Living Better

People are living longer lives than ever before. Some predict that the majority of children born after 2000 will live to age 100 or more. But will our longer lives be better lives? Are we, as individuals and society, preparing to live our longer lives well? And is the opportunity to live a longer, better life equally available to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or income?
Not yet. Our work lives, our social programs, and our individual choices reflect demographic patterns of half a century ago—a time when the average life span was much shorter than it is now. 
It's time to evolve. 
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What Happens When We All Start Living to 100?

For millennia, if not for eons—anthropology continuously pushes backward the time of human origin—life expectancy was short. The few people who grew old were assumed, because of their years, to have won the favor of the gods. The typical person was fortunate to reach 40.

Beginning in the 19th century, that slowly changed. 

Since 1840, life expectancy at birth has risen about three months with each passing year. In 1840, life expectancy at birth in Sweden, a much-studied nation owing to its record-keeping, was 45 years for women; today it’s 83 years. The United States displays roughly the same trend. 

When the 20th century began, life expectancy at birth in America was 47 years; now newborns are expected to live 79 years. If about three months continue to be added with each passing year, by the middle of this century, American life expectancy at birth will be 88 years. 

By the end of the century, it will be 100 years.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Silver Tsunami: Can Our World Sustain 9 Billion People by 2050?

The world’s population is topsy-turvy, and its exponential and uneven growth could have disastrous consequences if we aren’t ready for it.
 Humanity recently hit a benchmark, a population of 7.9 billion in 2013. It is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, and 9.6 billion by 2050. If that weren’t enough, consider 11.2 billion in 2100.
 Most of the growth is supposed to come from nine specific countries: India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, the United States, and Indonesia.  
It isn’t fertility that is driving growth, but rather longer lifespans
To continue reading this article, click here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Stages of Living

That greatest of all playwrights William Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It:

ALL the world ’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His Acts being seven ages. At first the Infant,        5
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining School-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the Lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad        10
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a Soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard;
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the Justice,        15
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances,—
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered Pantaloon,        20
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,        25
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,—
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

In the 20th Century, while those sub-stages still existed, most people in the Western world recognized a 3-stage, fixed existence. These were:
  1. education
  2. work and family
  3. retirement
Bu as the 21st Century arrived, with men and women both living much longer than ever before in history, experts began to realize the need to rewrite the social script that had worked during the Industrial Age.

Most observed that the outdated, 3-stage, chronological life course model had two major flaws.

First, it had created a highly age-segregated society, in which each phase of life was associated with a particular task. The young study, the middle-aged work, and the old rest or volunteer. Not only did that mean that generations had little interaction with one another fostering misunderstanding and unease, but it was difficult for anyone of any age to find a holistic balance between family, work, community, and educational opportunities.

Secondly, this old life script had way to much action in the first 2 stages and not nearly enough in the 3rd stage.

In Senior Moments, we'll be exploring several new alternatives to our life cycle that will better capture the realities of contemporary society.