There are 117.4 million people age 50-plus in the U.S., many of whom now plan to work well past the age of 65.1 This growing pool of workers represents a significant asset for businesses—and for the economy—as they possess valuable skills and experience. But age discrimination,2 manifest in workplace behaviors, attitudes, policies and procedures, is prevalent, limiting potential gains.
We are all aging. The good news is the way we are aging is changing, and mostly for the better. We have opportunities for continued productivity and growth that would be unrecognizable to previous generations. Our ability to live longer, healthier and more productive lives is one of humankind’s greatest accomplishments. The bad news is that attitudes and stereotypes about aging have not changed enough: many products and services available to an aging population are woefully out of date.
Workers 65 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2014 and 2024 the total number of workers ages 65-74 will jump by 55 percent to more than 13 million. At the same time, younger workers are entering — or trying to enter — the job market, creating workplaces that increasingly look a lot like multigenerational families.
As people live longer and healthier lives, they are contributing to communities and fueling economic growth well past the traditional retirement age. The contributions of people 50-plus benefit society and Americans of all ages, due to growing numbers of people this age who are working, paying taxes, supporting the growing job market, giving time and money to charitable causes, and caregiving for family and loved ones. These economic trends will continue to lay the foundation for economic growth through 2050, according to a new analysis from AARP.
Employees in their 50s, 60s and 70s, though outnumbered in the workforce by millennials, arethe only group whose labor-force participation rates are growing. Yet they are the least visiblein offices, retail outlets and other workplaces. That is because many conceal their ages. Worriedthey’ll be avoided or rejected by younger managers and co-workers, they often go to greatlengths to try to appear younger—by doing such things as getting cosmetic surgery, shorteningtheir work histories on social-media accounts and in conversations, not citing pastaccomplishments and not displaying photographs of their grandchildren.
Most people associate Alzheimer’s with memory loss, one of first and most common symptoms of the disease. On average, the progressive (and currently) irreversible brain disorder starts affecting people after 60 years of age. However, there are many factors that contribute to an individual’s experience such as their genes, diet, lifestyle habits, and more.
The year before my father died, he came with us to Sweden for the summer. He had been living with his dementia for over ten years by then, and—mildly, sweetly, uncomplainingly—he was gradually disappearing, memories falling away, words going, recognition fading, in the great unravelling. But he was very happy on that holiday.
Check out the gallery from the 2019 Laura Traynor Circle of Life Event
When I signed up for a program sponsored by Coming of Age NYC, I had no idea just how many organizations offer special services to New Yorkers age 50 and older. Yes, I already knew about some of them and had drawn on their resources; but others were entirely new to me. Discovering how many such groups this city offers, I found one more among so many reasons to marvel at how this city is a wonderful place for us to live.
On July 19, the Coconut Grove Rotary Club that meets weekly on Biscayne welcomed ReServe South Director Doreen LoCicero and Dementia Care Program Coordinator Dr. Miguel Hernandez as their guest speakers.
ReServe South Advisory Council Member David Lawrence is having a book launch, “An Evening with David Lawrence, Jr.” on September 25th presented by Books & Books, moderated by ABC’s senior reporter on politics and government, David Putney.