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Baby Boomers and Aging

Boomers who are young at heart

Active boomers

As today’s baby boomers grow older, the concept of aging has changed.  No longer do retirement, seniors, frail and elderly, apply. Now the negative image of the inactive, dependent elder is making way to the active, involved, healthy, wealthy and eternally young individual who has meaning and purpose in their latter years.

The role and value of boomers is being portrayed in the media as sexually active, community-minded, self-starters.  They are seen as young-at-heart, vital, ambitious, go-getters who are not willing to sit idly, watching the world go by.

Look at these facts:

Each year, 500,000 people over 60 are studying on college campuses.

The military is seeing more retirees in their 40’s and 50’s, who are moving on to other livelihoods.

Many men in second marriages are having children in their 40’s and 50’s.

Do these facts tell you that “student, retiree, and fatherhood” can have a new meaning not associated with what you’d expect?  In fact, it indicates that a college student doesn’t have to be in their twenties, that a dad can actually have a baby in his 50’s and that a 60 year old woman can retire and take up a new career.

What’s happening is that society is reexamining what aging means and changing some of the traditional ideas they have previously known.  A new strategy, known as “successful aging” is the goal of many researchers.  Baby boomers are determined to counter and reject the normal decline associated with aging and live by the concept, “You’re only as old as you think you are.”  Successful aging would mean that people capitalize on what’s working and compensate for what’s lacking.   Focus is placed on the psychological side of aging, including life satisfaction and an overall sense of well-being.

Therefore, you want to nurture your special strengths, compensate for your limitations, and understand that the concept of aging is becoming ambiguous and not easily characterized. With so many baby boomers remaining active and capable after retirement, with the rise in longevity and the change in society’s rationale on aging, we can expect more credit given to our generation for redefining what’s normal as we go through the aging process.

 

 

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