PRODUCTIVE AGING IN AMERICA

Apr 5th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Partners in Productive Aging

Senior Citizen Journal’s(SCJ) commitment to partnering with seniors for productive aging just received a huge boost. The Aging in America conference was held over the weekend (April 1, 2012) in Washington DC.  The president and CEO of AgeWave, Ken Dychtwald said,  “Anyone who thinks [the boomers] will turn 65 and be the same as the generation before are missing out on the last 60 years of sociology,” he said. “The boomers change every stage of life through which they migrate.” (HuffPost, April 2, 2012)

SCJ has been writing about the influence of Baby Boomers for almost four years now. Average longevity for men and women is now pushing 90 years.  Living beyond 100 is no longer unusual.  Seniors today know they probably have many productive years after they retire, if they retire at all.  We’re looking at a new model of senior living.

Some of us go back to school; the Internet makes that very easy with online courses, many which are free.  Some of us take on a second (or third or fourth) career.  Many of us are caretakers, learning how to best care for loved ones with a variety of Internet resources offering advice.  Because we are retired, we have the luxury of choosing how we want to spend our time,  Ariana Huffington said at the Aging in America conference, “As we grow older, we have the opportunity to tap into the kind of wisdom that is denied to the young — the opportunity to look at life without all the extra anxiety and self-judgment that dominated our lives when we were younger.” (HuffPost, April 2, 2012) This ‘emotional’ freedom opens the doors for whatever we choose to explore.

A Renewed Sense of Purpose

The other productive result of Baby Boomers moving into retirement is that some of them will find “…a renewed sense of purpose…” (Gail Sheehy, HuffPost, April 2, 2012), a new stage of life in which they may find themselves re-shaping social, political, religious mores. Baby Boomers will have time to become activists, advocating for and demanding change that our culture requires in order to adapt to our changing world.  Activism is nothing new to BBs.  They created the first age of activism in the 1960s.  There is nothing to suggest they will change behavior in their senior years.

Additional Baby Boomer impacts on our society are described in the Huffington Post article:  health care, Social Security and Medicare, immigration policy, home and community-based care…  SCJ readers are encouraged to read the entire Huffington Post article for details about the conference.



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