The New Age of Aging
11,000 boomers turn 65 each day in our country and they will be redefining the "typical" lifestyle of a senior. (We don't even think of 65 as "senior" anymore!) There is a new wave of thinking taking place for the aging adult as we start living longer, working longer, and staying socially engaged. Seniors are staying fit by taking zumba and fitness classes with friends, staying healthy with modern day technology and preventative medicine, and they're even using online social networks to stay engaged and connected.
More people over 65, especially women, are staying in the work force longer and according to an ASA article this could have some great benefits for our economy such as reducing federal deficits and debt. There will be some challenges though too, as boomers will have to fight against age discrimination in the workplace. According to the article, in 2009 the Supreme Court ruled that there is more proof of age discrimination than sex or race bias in the workplace. We could be looking at legal changes ahead of us such as the passing of the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act.
Now that people are living longer and continuing to work, not only is physical health important, but mental health is also key to enjoying life to the fullest. Social engagement is being recognized as offering many health benefits, including keeping your brain fit. One way to stay socially engaged is to keep working as many boomers are choosing to do. This AARP article shares that delaying retirement can keep your cognitive performance levels up because people who work tend to be take part in more social and mentally stimulating activities.
Times have changed:
Multiple research studies have been released within the last couple of decades that have changed the way boomers take care of themselves. We now are able to educate ourselves on ways to keep our bodies healthy and we can Google ANYTHING that we might have questions about. We now know that 30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended, fruits and veggies are necessary with every meal and smoking is absolutely, 100%, VERY bad for your health. Because of these new studies boomers are able to take better care of their bodies, changing their daily health routine and ultimately living longer. Today there are classes at selected gyms for seniors only, such as senior Zumba, senior Yoga and even senior kickboxing!
In 1930, the average life expectancy in the United States was 59. Today, it’s about 81 for women and about 76 for men. The fastest-growing part of the population today is the oldest old, those over 100. They say that the person who will live up to 120 has already been born. Now that’s exciting... and yet really daunting!
Boomers are taking on technology, going online, using cell phones, e-books, and social networks. Pew Research says for the first time half of adults 65 and older are online and 82% of all adult internet users go online on an average day.
It is no longer a shock that mom, dad and even grandma and grandpa are on Facebook and Twitter. The ability to stay connected with distant family and friends has helped create longevity within relationships. Socializing and keeping in touch with family, friends and loved ones is very important to our health. According to Pew Research among all adult internet users, 66% use social networking sites and 48% of adult internet users make use of these sites on a daily basis.
Times have changed and boomers will need to embraces the new way of aging. Staying connected to friends and family though Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn keep families and friends engaged with one another even from afar. Keeping your body fit with regular exercise and healthy foods will keep the body healthy and hey - if you are capable, work a few years past your retirement date. Who said you need to check out at age 65?