By The Editorial Board
In our article about Age-Friendly Coraopolis and the work that organization is doing to try and make society more equitable for the aging, we throw out some intense statistics.
The United States is 10 years away from having a “super-aged society.” The Baby Boomers, who have been a massive cultural force since birth, are going to keep that trend going by changing the landscape of our population.
Yes, the people who invented the phrase, “Don’t trust anyone over the age of 25,” whose name is forever linked with the very youngest in our population, are becoming septuagenarians. We’re curious if they all regret inventing youth culture. But hey, hopefully, we’ll all live long enough to appreciate irony the way this generation of Baby Boomers have.
And there’s a silver lining to that silver tsunami, an ominous term used to describe the situation predicted in 2035, when adults over the age of 65 will outnumber children for the first time.
Baby Boomers are an extraordinary demographic and despite what they used to believe when they were in their early 20’s, they have the ability to do so much good in the world.
Quite a few of those aging Baby Boomers are still in seats of power across the nation. They are still an economic and political force in many ways and can prioritize legislation to help make our cities more accessible to people who need to use canes or wheelchairs to get around.
They can unite to make real reforms in healthcare accessibility. Caring for an increasingly infirm population will require better, more widespread care. They can bring the costs down for everyone.
With aging parents at home, middle-aged people will require more flexibility at work to see to their needs along with the needs of their younger children and more public money will need to be shunted toward elder care.
This means a massive shift in resource allocation – a different way of thinking about how we work and live. It means an opportunity to think ahead and plan accommodations which are more humane, better for all.
Whether that will happen really rests on forethought and planning. The problem of that influx of seniors will dwindle, sadly, but the solutions implemented could leave a positive legacy for all of us.
We are all in a state of decline. Everyone ages, except for model Christie Brinkley apparently and to a lesser degree, actor Paul Rudd. Instead of reverse-mortgaging our future to play PA games of skill, we need to work together to make our kids have a kinder, more equitable world in which to live.
This is the generation that implemented equal voting rights, (and now some are trying to take them back), granted women reproductive rights (and then were part of the group of people who yanked them away when their granddaughters could really use them) and coined the concept of the mid-life crisis. That one doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
They could leave something lasting and beautiful as a final grace note. Here at Gazette 2.0, we believe the generation that desegregated schools, broke the Watergate scandal and created the EPA have many more positive things to give the world. Their wisdom and forethought are needed to make our country easier to navigate for everybody.