Making Aging Positive

Posted on June 4, 2014

Between 1900 and 2000, average life expectancy increased by nearly 30 years in the United States and most other developed countries of the world, and the developing world is catching up quickly. For the first time in history, most people now being born can expect to live seven, eight, nine, or more decades. This achievement changes not only the trajectory of individual lives but also the shape of societies: Adults 60 and older are now the fastest-growing segment of our population.

This achievement gives rise to new important questions: What do we want to do with an extra 30 years? How should we, as individuals and as a society, shape the trajectory of our longer lives? Can we design a trajectory that improves the well-being and opportunities of people at all ages? Should we be designing new social policies that will foster these opportunities? How do we prepare young people for longer lives - and can these questions be answered in ways that would be beneficial for all generations?

There is a growing body of impressive research showing that our attitudes toward aging affect our health, our resilience in the face of adversity, and our very survival. Becca Levy at Yale, a pioneer and leading researcher in this area, conducted a study that followed several hundred adults (50 years and older) for more than 20 years. She and her colleagues found that older adults who held more positive age stereotypes lived 7.5 years longer than their peers who held negative age-related stereotypes.

Click on the link below to read the full article


Category(s):Aging & Geriatric Issues

Source material from The Atlantic


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