It’s been said “The future ain’t what it used to be,” and that can certainly be applied to the future of aging in America.
But what can we expect in this new future?
Last month the best minds from medicine, social science, finance, public policy, and other disciplines met in San Francisco for the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics Conference to share the latest science, research, technology, and policy development in the field of aging.
Sophie Okolo, an associate with the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, attended and wrote about some of the significant trends in aging for Next Avenue, a website for the “booming older population” produced by Twin Cities PBS.
One of the trends she heard was older adults are seeking ways to take charge of their own health using emerging technologies which includes finding self-care solutions to improve their health. In some rural communities, patients are already seeing a doctor using telemedicine; several start-up companies are developing virtual reality apps for physical exercise and pain treatment, and although this may sound as futuristic as a smart watch once did, Nestles is working on personalized digital nutrition to help deliver the ideal nutrition at the right cost. Pretty amazing.
Another trend is the changing view of aging – acknowledging the challenges, but also embracing the opportunities, and creating a culture that supports the long life we experience today. You can look around and see how older adults create stronger communities and strengthen our economies. For example, did you know older workers over fifty are responsible for at least $7.6 trillion in annual economic activity?
Although the future is not what it once was, with new and developing technologies and a more positive view towards aging, there can be a better future for all of us: the current generation of older adults and for future generations to come.
Katy Joblonski came by the Center to drop off a flyer for her class, “Shakespeare: The Early Plays” (English 201 - 1091658), which will be held at The Dalles campus of the Columbia Gorge Community College on Mondays from 10:00 – 12:00 starting September 25th.
As you can tell, it is for folks who have unchained themselves from the shackles of employment and are fancy free – if they can find time between the projects around the house, their volunteer commitments, and their trips to visit/babysit the grandkids.
But she told me the exciting news is the class is free if you are over 65 and want to audit the class. And in addition, although there is no guarantee, you may be able to audit many of the other CGCC classes for free or little cost. If you want to know more about how to audit CGCC classes, call 541-506-6057.
Tuesday Night music at the Center may have played its last chords. Attendance has dropped and although everyone enjoyed the music and dancing, there just wasn’t enough people to make it worthwhile for the bands. But there is plenty of music in the Gorge - with only ten days a month when you can’t find a place to dance. For information about the dance locations, Sheryl Doty distributes a monthly calendar which you can pick up at the Center or you can call her at 541-296-3707.
The “bodacious hillbilly” that Barney Google met when he visited “Hootin’ Holler” was Snuffy Smith. (Several folks thought the answer was Li’l Abner which was another hillbilly humor comic strip, but the only correct answer I received was from Marta Moser - this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)
Okay, this week’s “Remember When” question is not about a comic strip, but it did start out as a comic book before it turned into a classic American humor magazine. First published in 1952 and reaching its peak in 1974, this magazine satirized all aspects of cultural life, politics, entertainment, and public figures. What was the name of this humor magazine whose satire influenced a whole generation? Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a book of Don Martin’s best comic strips.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember what doctor I’m supposed to see this month. Until we meet again, keep your foot on the peddle and your hands on the steering wheel.
“Life is surely worth a certain amount of struggle, but sometimes I wonder exactly how much?” Ashleigh Brilliant