A recent study by the Stanford Center on Longevity revealed some startling statistics.
Did you know that in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65 every day?
Another mind boggling finding was that by 2016, the number of people over age 60 is projected to be greater than the number of all young people from birth-15 years of age!
What I appreciated about the Stanford study was the emphasis the authors placed on the positive impact this new explosion of seniors can have on our society. Laura Carstensen, for example, stated that “It’s surprising to people when you say something like the number of older people in the world is the only natural resource that’s actually growing,” she said.
At Cascade Companion Care, we like the idea of viewing our seniors as valued resources in our communities. We have the privilege of hearing their stories, learning about their local involvements, hearing about their influence on grandchildren and great grandchildren, and witnessing the impact of a life well lived.
Among the suggestions proposed by the study were these:
1. Society should prepare to take good care of our aging population. It might have been prudent at one time to focus medicine on acute illnesses that affect younger people, but now, the Center suggests, it is prudent to “refocus” medicine on long-term chronic diseases. This will enable seniors not only to live longer, but to live with vigor and strength.
2. City planners should give thought to creating more senior-friendly communities that enable seniors to stay in their own homes. She suggests “redesigning the suburbs by providing better public transportation, retrofitting sidewalks to be safer and adding benches.” Anything that a city can do to decrease a senior’s isolation will be a benefit to the entire community.
3. Society should be willing to change their misconceptions about the elderly, such as looking at seniors as persons in decline whose contributions are in the past. With many problems facing our country, the wisdom, experience, and tested skills of seniors could be put to great use. If you know of a senior who is making a special contribution in your community, please comment to this post and let us know about them!
If you want to learn more about how Cascade Companion Care values seniors, please contact us at (888) 390-6068 or explore our website in more depth. In our opinion, seniors are not just a natural resource, but a national treasure!