November 11, 2020
Long before I virtually attended today's International Longevity Summit in London, I felt that I might be one of these Boomer people who will one day go on to live a longer life than my ancestors -- with my wits and good health, as well. While it's true, I grew up in Burbank, a suburb of Los Angeles, where I would sometimes see ageless Hollywood celebrities at Priscilla's Coffee House, my attention shifted again very recently to older people who are still working and even thriving in their careers like Jane Fonda (82), Helen Mirren (75) and Bruce Springsteen (71), to name a few. Just last month, The Boss released his latest album. President-elect Joe Biden (77) and President Trump (74) had the energy to run long and arduous Presidential campaigns. I asked myself, what are people over 70 doing to increase their longevity?
The health experts have been telling us for years that diet and exercise are two important ways that we can improve our health and increase our lives. More people believe that we should remove junk food from our diet, eat plant-based foods and exercise 4 times a week. Stress creates anxiety which affects our mental health and overall well-being. We should try to remove stress in our lives. Taking supplements could be helpful, too, like C60 olive oil which is full of antioxidants, saw palmetto which reduces inflammation, Primeadine which boosts cellular renewal, and magnesium which helps the body to stay healthy. There are many things that we can do to reduce the negative effects of aging. Fortunately people over 50 represent 56% of consumer spending, so many of them have the financial resources to spend on their health.
During the Longevity Summit today, I was interested to learn that experts working in countries around the world are recommending to their governments to treat Covid as an aging issue, not just a respiratory disease. Covid affects older people worse. More often than not, these are older people with poor health to begin with. While we find a cure for Covid, we might also be finding another way to reduce the effects of aging. In fact, more governments and businesses should be encouraged to promote health measures as we age. Did you know that 1:3 elderly people will need extreme care in their later years? This is not sustainable. Along with government research, government regulation and law making need to get involved. If it weren't for laws that linked smoking to a pediatric issue, smoking might still be a bigger problem in America, for example. Similarly, we need laws to encourage healthy practices among the older population, including providing equal access to medical care which will lead to more healthy people, more wealthy people and a wealthier, more productive nation.
In his latest book What Retirees Want, Boomer expert Dr.Ken Dychtwald wrote, It's time to retire retirement. People past 70 and older are healthier than their ancestors, and many want to realize opportunities so they can continue serving their communities in various ways. There are so many Boomers, more than one billion people over 60+ live in the world today. This number is estimated to pass 2 billion in 2048. At the same time, what we call retirement today has shifted. Dychtwald calls this time in our lives The Third Age, a more rewarding time of our lives. Some retirees are finding that their learning experiences in one industry are triggering insights and actions in other industries, while other retirees are completely reinventing themselves. Retirement can be a time for new dreams and contributions.
Older people have so much to offer their communities, their nations and the world. Because of experience and perspective, they are better able to cope through challenging times. According to Dychtwald, their dream is to stay active, engaged and purposeful. While it is true that some want a better balance between work and leisure, including spending quality time with family, others want to stay active in work. Not all retirees want to wind down. Many more are shifting gears and changing priorities to do what they love.
Older people today are looking to live longer, healthier lives. They are also looking more deeply while they reframe the meaning, importance and value of maturity. I like to think that instead of looking at outward appearances, older people are looking in the mirror and asking themselves, How wise am I? How thoughtful am I? How experienced am I? Older people should want to increase their longevity. They have so much wisdom, experience and perspective to offer.
- Contributing author and Primeadine fan, Pauline Facciano