The bulge in the population of boomers and the aging of America is no surprise. Demographers have predicted it for decades. The imbalance in the ratio of young to old has also been predicted. So, when 4 experts get together to predict the future of aging in America*, what is new to report? What is new, is that technology combined with creativity and a global perspective is looking to solve the problems with the assets we have that are growing as we age as a society. And, what are those assets, you might ask? Those assets are us. So, are you ready to age with a purpose to give back to your community? Are you ready to age and think about your health now, so you will not be a statistic in the future? Are you ready to embrace technology so that your ability to age in place will be increased?
Joe Coughlin, Director of MIT’s AgeLab says that yesterday’s problems were solved with yesterday’s solutions. We have just begun to realize the possibilities for solutions to tomorrow’s problems. Ken Dychtwald is clear about what he thinks is going to happen in the future, and feels that we are building a purpose for maturity; that we are creating a vision of an America that is aging. And, he says steering the ship towards that vision? Most of the steering is really course correction, and that is what we are doing now, and will continue to do.
“How do we match healthspan with lifespan?” he asks. Afterall, when you are old, does age really matter if you are healthy, enjoying life, have a purpose, and are loved?
The inventions that are currently being realized allow cars that drive themselves, robots that not only can do simple tasks, but that can offer peace and calm to an Alzheimer’s patient, monitoring that connects the patient in the home to a doctor or a support team in a hospital, and online communities for all kinds of extended relations, regardless of geography. This entire session on the future of Aging in America will be available soon, and, when it is, everyone needs to take the time to watch it. For now, I will link you to last year’s retirement talk at ASA, in case you want an appetizer.
What an honor for me to present at this conference with the likes of my esteemed colleagues. If you are not aware of the programs that these institutions and businesses serve up for the future, take the time to find out more.