When social security was enacted in 1935, average life expectancy was only 62. Today, we’re living an additional 15 years, on average.
That’s one of the facts cited in our video of the week, “The Big Idea in 4 Minutes: Coming of Age in an Aging America,” which explores the ramifications of the demographic shift that’s about to take place as the Baby Boom generation hits retirement age. The cartoon-style video boldly and elegantly encapsulates the core issues in current aging discourse – and it’s also fun to watch.
“When we talk about an aging society, everybody swoons. They think, ‘Oh my God.’ People write articles about ‘defusing the demographic time bomb.’ Why is there an assumption there is no upside?” – Jack Rowe, MD
The video starts with the premise that we are not the people we were 50 years ago and our institutions, communities, homes and workplaces no longer fit. It ends with the question: How are we going to rethink them? In between, some of America’s most enlightened thinkers on aging add their two cents.
“What if we reimagined our standard life course?”
“Coming of Age in and Aging America” is part of a multi-year PBS project that goes by the same name. Eventually, it will incorporate a TV documentary, interactive website and online community. The goal: To launch a national conversation about our new reality.
What would you most like to see change as our society ages? Let’s have our own discussion in the comments area – scroll down!