Strides for Longevity: Making Sure Seniors Are Top-of-Mind
Updated on Mar 13 2019
Thanks to technology and advances in healthcare, humans are living longer. In fact, for people who are over the age of 65 and live in a developed country, the average lifespan is increasing by approximately three years every generation and researchers expect this trend to continue. Finding ways to help America age healthier for greater quality of life is the challenge.
As longevity increases, researchers are examining not only the number of years in life, but also the quality of life in years. In other words, they are seeking to improve upon and extend the quality of life in old age.
These three initiatives are paving the way and making great strides for longevity for generations to come:
Stanford Center on Longevity
The mission of the Stanford Center on Longevity is to “accelerate and implement scientific discoveries, technological advances, behavioral practices, and social norms so that century-long lives are healthy and rewarding.” The Center is focused on building a society where people age well - and they believe that aging well stems from decisions made throughout a lifetime. Evaluating mental sharpness, physical fitness and financial security, the Stanford Center on Longevity connects thought leaders from seemingly disconnected industries to influence social and cultural change that positively impacts the quality of life into old age.
One of their main areas of focus is financial security. An age of unprecedented longevity requires a new focus on lifelong individual financial security and human traits that lead to healthy living and finances. The Stanford Center on Longevity conducts studies and brings together thinkers, policymakers, and business leaders to improve financial capability, understand new career lifecycles, and prevent common financial pitfalls, like fraud. Their work is helping companies and employees alike understand what retirement savings need to look like for a long and comfortable lifestyle.
American Society on Aging
The American Society on Aging (ASA) has a goal to “support the commitment and enhance the knowledge of skills of those who seek to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families.” With 5,000 members, the ASA brings together industry leaders to educate and train those who care for seniors.
The ASA has a wide range of seminars and webinars available to members and non-members alike to help caregivers improve the quality of life for seniors. Topics range from dementia caregiving and caring for someone with vision loss to promoting age-friendly health systems and senior financial planning. Their resources help caregivers understand when and how someone with a neurodegenerative disease should make financial decisions, and also help prevent financial abuse, such as age-targeted financial scams. A focus is also helping educate Americans about the importance of financial planning and getting the resources they need for retirement.
Global Coalition on Aging
The Global Coalition on Aging is changing how the world thinks about aging. They have a number of initiatives to to understand how “global longevity drives massive social transformation.” From evaluating the economic impact of longevity to more personal legacy planning, the Global Coalition on Aging is focused on helping improve the quality of life as we age on a global scale.
Using roundtables and studies and think tanks, the Global Coalition on Aging seeks to connect different industries to come together to reevaluate what it means to age. One of their more recent studies, the 18th Annual Retirement Survey, interviewed more than 1,800 employers to understand how employees are preparing for retirement. The study found that many workers need to delay retirement to plan better for retirement, and they need more financial support from employers.
These organizations and initiatives are just three of many paving the way for all of us as life expectancy continues to rise. Their research into what it means to age well is not anti-aging. In fact, it’s a celebration of age that strives to reduce the stigma and stereotypes associated with aging while also helping seniors prepare mentally, physically, and financially for a long, happy, and healthy life.
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