Seniors Are Generally Upbeat About Aging

According to an article in USA Today, “Life is good for most of the nation’s seniors, according to a recent poll of 2,250 older adults. Whether they move to “active adult” communities [….]or grow old in the homes where they raised their children, they say they are pretty darn content.”

With all the horror stories that we read with regard to aging, we might assume this to be a surprising finding.  According to William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution as quoted in the USA Today article, in part this is due to the fact that:

“People in retirement have dodged a bullet.  They’ve gotten to the promised land in time to avoid all the bad stuff.”

Again quoting the article:

This generation of retirees, including the oldest Baby Boomers, who turn 66 this year, are more likely to enjoy the fruits of their life-long labors than future retirees, Frey says. They stopped working before employers pulled the plug on pension plans, before companies stopped matching contributions to 401(k)s and before Social Security and Medicare finances hit the crisis stage.

According to Frey, he feels that as the economic environment changes, seniors will start to feel the hardship of aging more acutely.  Presently, the oldest Americans are the wealthiest with people over 75 having a median net worth of $218,800.

With the advances in medical care, individuals are living longer.  In 1940, when Social Security was first formed, less than 60% of the population lived to see 65 years.  Those born post 1960 have an 80% chance of reaching age 65. That is a big difference!

This generation of aging individuals is probably the most active and therefore potentially the healthiest, which might add to longer life.  Many continue to work, either out of necessity or to remain active and connected.

Although this silver lining report for the silver haired sounds promising, Frey did also put forth the cautionary note that as the economic climate changes, so will the outlook/circumstances of the aging population.  In other words, as we move away from being the wealthiest nation in the world, the free and easy life of older years may become less so.  Until then, let’s enjoy!

© Yvonne Behrens 2012


Hearing Health – Never Too Early to be Concerned

ANTHONY CIRILLO FACHE, ABC, President, Fast Forward Consulting

Can you imagine living in a world where you can’t hear music? What about being unable tohear the dialogue of your favorite movie? Hearing loss is a problem shared by many of all ages, but did you know that hearing loss among seniors is rapidly becoming a growing public health issue?

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System found that approximately 44% of people suffer from significant hearing loss by age 6966% by age 79and 90% after age 80. The number of Americans affected by hearing loss is also expected to shoot up- from about 36 million Americans today to 78 million by the year 2030.
Because of these stats, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s (NYEE) has announced a new hearing health initiative. 

The PSA was created to raise awareness about hearing loss, particularly among baby boomers and urges viewers to visit a new educational website about hearing health. Hearing loss can impact our relationships, work, leisure pursuits and even safety. That’s why all adults should take control of their hearing health as soon as possible.

As a musician I can relate to the hearing issue. Fortunately I have not suffered at least yet. I jokingly say I can hear two seniors talking to each other in the last row of a crowded auditorium and then shock them when I recite what they said. On the other hand, my wife says I cannot hear her two feet across the table!
Find out more about hearing health and take an Online Hearing Quiz to learn how healthy your hearing really is.
You can also visit their Facebook page and enter the NYEE’s Favorite Sounds Sweepstakes. Choose to “like” the page by recording your own favorite sounds, and by doing so enter the sweepstakes. The sweepstakes prize is the $5,000-value opportunity for the winner and ten friends to share dinner with Chris Botti at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s November 15 fundraising gala.