The saying “age is just a number” has never rang more true than for contemporary seniors. When compared to past generations, senior citizens of today appear to be modern and relatable to younger generations. So what has caused this shift in the last century that makes seniors seem more youthful? Read on to find out!
The introduction of the "Very Old Age" stage
With modern day medicine making massive advances in life expectancy over the past 50 years, people are now living into their 90s and 100s as opposed to their 70s and 80s, which was the case just a few decades ago. With this improved life expectancy, a new stage of aging has been introduced - the Very Old Age. Although a senior still remains classified as 65 years and older, the Very Old Age isn’t categorized by an age, but rather a person’s uncontrollable decline of their mental and physical state. With this new stage and perception, society perceives those in their late 60s and 70s as much younger due to their better overall health, and further proximity to end of life.
Along with medicine, technology has made astronomical strides just in the past 30 years that has helped transform a seniors’ place in society. Compared to those of the past, today’s senior citizens were introduced to computers and other technological innovations while still in the workforce, making it easier for them to adopt and learn new technologies that have emerged in their later years. With a better grasp of the basics to help evolve their knowledge, a senior’s understanding and familiarity of technology has helped them to stay connected to their community through easier communication, better access to information, and increased independence. With this newfound ability for modern seniors to maintain their place in society, seniors are able to feel better acclimated to everyday life and appear more youthful than seniors before them.
Increased education on health and wellness
Across all ages, health and wellness is a topic that has had a huge increase in education over the years, with more people realizing the long term benefits of proper nutrition and exercise habits. For seniors specifically, health and wellness was introduced at a younger age than generations before them, not only allowing them to be in better shape as they move into their 70s and 80s, but they also continue to apply these habits into their elderly age for an overall healthier lifestyle. With programs like Heart To Home Meals, it has become easier than ever for seniors to access healthy, prepared meals that fuel the body with nutritional ingredients. As we mentioned previously, being more active and in a better physical state makes you not only feel younger, but also encourages younger generations to have a newfound perspective for older adults.
Stronger advocacy for age inclusivity
As social causes gain more awareness through social media and other digital platforms, advocacy for age inclusivity has surged, with more businesses, schools, services, and individuals becoming conscious of ways to reframe aging in communities. By working to reduce barriers and make supportive resources readily available, advocacy for age inclusion empowers modern-day seniors to continue immersing themselves in society instead of being reclusive for the later part of their lives. These standards also optimize the quality of life for older adults to help maintain their physical and mental health. Together, these changes have made an impact on our perception of seniors from incapable and powerless, to independent and a valuable member of the community.