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Trends in Aging. Betsy Zuber Geriatric Specialist Mercer Island Youth & Family Services (206) 275-7752 [email protected] What is Aging?. Progression of life Physical changes in the body over time

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Trends in aging

Trends in Aging

Betsy Zuber

Geriatric Specialist

Mercer Island Youth & Family Services

(206) 275-7752

[email protected]

What is aging
What is Aging?

  • Progression of life

  • Physical changes in the body over time

  • Can depend on heredity, past illnesses, life style, & how we perceive the aging process

  • Is not a disease

Aging history
Aging History

  • Gerontocracy – Power, Wisdom, Family Structure, Advice

  • Industrial Revolution – Growing disregard for the old

  • Social Security – 1935

  • Medical Advances and technology

  • Baby Boomers & Changes in Life Expectancy

  • Use of the internet, professionals, self-help books

New trends
New Trends

  • This is the first time in recorded history that we can expect to reach the age of 100.

    • Fastest growing segment of the population world-wide is people 75+.

  • Don’t waste time on what you do not have control over, pay attention to what makes you happy.

  • No traditional retirement, 2nd careers


  • Stereotypes

  • Prejudices

  • Misconceptions

Why do we believe youth is better than getting older
Why do we believe youth is better than getting older?

  • Intergenerational family interaction – Publicly provided resources vs. Family obligation

  • Had more younger than older – Longevity

  • Negative portrayal of older people in the media, film, news

  • Our own negative beliefs, experiences, fears

    • Purpose and meaning in the greater culture

How do we combat ageism
How do we Combat Ageism?

  • Reframe value of all ages in our culture

  • Increase multigenerational connections throughout the lifespan

  • Question our own beliefs. How we view older adults can improve society = tolerance

Aging as a public health issue increased life expectancy
Aging as a Public Health Issue & Increased Life Expectancy

  • Health Impacts

    • Higher Usage of Medical Care – Costs?

  • Decreased Independence

    • Needing help – Who provides?

  • “Third Act”

    • Healthy Aging through the lifespan

    • Increased expertise - Volunteer

  • Age Discrimination

Successful positive aging
Successful Positive Aging

  • Regular physical and mental activity, proper nutrition

  • Good coping skills

  • Acquire flexible thinking, try new things, have a variety of interests

  • Continue to build new friendships

  • Practice positive thinking, learn to adapt to change, get rid of self-doubt

  • Live with no regrets

  • You can control your own happiness

Round one
Round One

  • Older people are happier than younger people

  • Most older people live in the Southern Sunbelt States of America

  • Humans can live to 130 years old

Round two
Round Two

  • During your 40’s you will experience a midlife crisis – a time of considerable psychological turmoil

  • Your personality develops over time and can change as you get older

  • More families are living together multigenerationally

Round three
Round Three

  • Older people can change their health by changing their lifestyle habits

  • As you get older you will become more depressed

  • Your ability to cope with change and stress as you get older gets better

Careers in the aging field
Careers in the Aging Field

  • Social Work

  • Recreation

  • Medical - Nurse, Doctor, Rehabilitation – PT, OT, - Clinics, Hospitals

  • Insurance

  • Attorneys

  • Travel Industry

  • Housing

  • Marketing

  • Financial/Investments

  • Real Estate


  • Prepare, plan & expect to grow older

  • Challenge your beliefs about older adults

  • Healthy aging starts now and can benefit you as you grow older

  • Treat older adults as you would like to be treated when you are older