Printer Friendly

Age Wave: the Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging America.

AGE WAVE, The Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging America

During the past eighty-nine years the span of life expectancy lengthened from forty-seven to seventy-five. Every aspect of our society and culture is being affected. Personal relationships, financial and political power, workplace dominance, the focus of product development and marketing are changing.

Health care and educational priorities are showing signs of transformation. Not a single aspect of modern life is being unaffected by the presence of a larger population of older people -- and the most radical changes are yet to come.

The Age Wave is a study that heralds the coming of positive new options and unexpected opportunities. Already present, and more on the horizon, is the emergence of new businesses, new products, new services. For those who cling to the status quo, dramatic changes may be uncomfortable and disturbing.

Caught in the winds of change are the seventy-six million baby boomers who are growing older but do not realize that the impending social changes will soon engulf them. For those in middle age, the wave of the future will create a challenge echoed in the warning that becoming elderly will require youthful resilience.

We are a nation that was founded on young backs, on the vigor, strength, impetuosity, and hope of youth. The realization that we are growing more mature, steadier, deeper -- and wiser, this reality will mean changing concepts of aging. The Age Wave, Dychtwald predicts, will change everyone's life beyond imagination.

We can expect to live longer. Scientific knowledge is making it possible for more people to reach the boundaries of our specie's biological clock -- 120 years.

Possibly the conceptions of family life may change as traditional families broaden into the "matrix" family, an adult centered, transgenerational family bound together by friendship and choice as well as blood and obligation.

Marriage may change. Some will have marriages that last seventy five years, while others will have different mates for each major change of their lives. Older women will deal with the shortage of older men by turning increasingly to unconventional relationships, such as dating younger men or sharing a man with other women, the author foresees.

Doubtless, the physical environment will change. The man-made world we now inhabit is designed at present for youth. To fit the new pace, physiology, and style of population that will predominate, the typeface of books will be larger, traffic lights must change more slowly, steps will be lower, bathtubs less slippery, chairs more comfortable, and reading lights brighter. Neighborhoods will be safer, and food will be more nutritious.

Retirement will not be everyone's goal, the author insists. Some may stop working one or more times in a lifetime. More people will be going back to school in their maturity. The traditional framework will be altered: youth, the time for working, and adulthood, the time for learning.

Wars between the generations may become commonplace as competition intensifies. The old will refuse to retire and make room for the young in the marketplace. Middle-aged and older individuals will attempt to dominate politics, as the young find the burdens of supporting the older generation to be overwhelming.

Age Wave draws a broad picture of the future showing the inevitability of change, but is meticulous in its efforts to demonstrate that these eruptions can be calmed and smoothed to society's advantage.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Vegetus Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1989
Previous Article:Mindfulness.
Next Article:Escape from Intimacy.

Related Articles
The graying of America: an older population will mean changes in clients, employees, physical facilities and services.
To Renew America.
Competing in the Third Wave: The Ten Key Management Issues of the Information Age.
Rowman & Littlefield.
Oarsmen rescued after Atlantic capsize.
West Point to Pearl Harbor--A Little Boy Remembers the Japanese Attack and Other Survivor Stories from America's Greatest Military Disaster.
Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters