A visit to elderland

14 Jun 2003|Christoper Ireland

I’ve spent the last couple of weekends in the company of large groups of people over 75. This wasn’t a few token oldsters sitting on the sidelines, but 100+ folks talking, eating, dancing, and hanging out together. It was the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of the future–not just my future, but the rapidly approaching future of populations in the US, Europe and Japan, all of which have aging Baby Booms.

What did I notice? Staying thin and fit appears to define quality of life at this age. The difference between those who have taken care of their physical bodies and those who have not is dramatic and has much more than an aesthetic impact. Women seem more happy, genial and content with their present state than men whom seem acutely aware of who they used to be and what they used to do. Fashionable clothing, good jewelry, attentive service and cordial communication seem much more important than for younger adults. The pace of everything is slowed down.

Some will argue that these may be generational attributes tied to the WWII population rather than age attributes, but I don’t think so. At least it’s worth considering a future scenario where elder gyms thrive, the hottest clothing line is targeted at 50+ women, politeness is a sign of status and Walmart offers personal shoppers.

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