What does “successful aging” look like? Will boomers continue to be interested in senior centers and “villages?”

Two recent articles weigh in on topics that will have profound impact on services that may have to be modified as persons age.  These aging persons are not “their father’s” peers. It is a very different time and will continue to be.

successful aging“Salem residents, including baby boomers, exercised at the advanced fitness class at the Salem Community Life Center.” – SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF

“What Is Successful Aging?” – (This nextavenue article is excerpted from the new book Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging by Alan D. Castel PhD. Copyright  © 2019 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.)

“The phrase ‘successful aging’ has grown in popularity over the past few decades. At some point in life, people become concerned about aging and want to know what to expect, what to avoid and ways to adapt. New research has shown that important paradoxes exist regarding how we think about old age and how we actually age.

T”he term successful aging was made popular in 1987, when the scientists John Wallis Rowe and Robert Kahn published an influential book entitled Successful Aging. Rowe and Kahn stated that successful aging involved three main factors: (1) being free of disability or disease, (2) having high cognitive and physical abilities, and (3) interacting with others in meaningful ways.

“Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors of Successful Aging

“Importantly, Rowe and Kahn acknowledged that successful aging involved both intrinsic genetic factors and extrinsic lifestyle factors. Extrinsic factors such as diet, exercise, personal habits and psychosocial aspects of aging are often underestimated if one takes the simplistic view that aging  is guided by genetics.” – Click here to continue reading this article.

This Boston Globe article, “Senior groups struggle to attract ‘forever young’ baby boomers” sheds new light on what the “boomers” think about traditional senior centers and “villages.”

“I have no interest,” responded one person in the article when asked to visit the local senior center.”

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