Aging Graying Green

Is there a Secret to Aging Well?

As the Baby Boomers reach and move beyond traditional retirement ages, they are increasingly concerned about issues of aging. The demographics are compelling. By 2050, the older portion of the population will increase from 7 to 16 percent of the world’s population, with the developed world leading the way with even higher percentages. Today’s older adults are pioneers of a landscape historically unprecedented. With possibly thirty years of a “longevity bonus,” many older adults are asking how best to use their years. While there are many social policy and political issues involved in managing an aging society, there are many things that individuals can do throughout their lives to prepare for aging. Lifestyle choices reflecting aging accelerators or decelerators will impact the pace and outcomes of aging processes. This essay draws lessons from several books in the fields of gerontology (the study of the normal processes of aging) and geriatrics (the study of diseases that often accompany aging) to answer a simple question: How shall we age?

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