Aging Does Not Automatically Degrade Decision Making Skills

An aspect of ageism is how many people seem to believe that seniors make poorer decisions as soon as they begin to age.

According to a recent study described in a Health Day article at Medline Plus, older adults performed decision-making tasks just as well if not better than younger people. Participants ranged from age 18 to age 82. The article describing the research appeared in the September 28, 2013 issue of Psychology and Aging.

Over the course of the study researchers examined responses to questions from more than 600 people, describing how they go about making decisions that required a knowledge of math skills, vocabulary, risk-taking. and financial understanding. Two types of cognitive abilities, fluid intelligence (quickness) and crystalized intelligence (accumulated knowledge) were identified.              Continue reading

Check Out Quartet — The Perfect Movie — for Valentine’s Day

Quartet is the perfect movie to see on Valentine’s Day. When I visit my parents this weekend, I will suggest that we all go and watch, and I can’t wait to see it for a second time.

The movie is about aging musicians, and the main characters are played by highly regarded and accomplished actors in their senior years. The story, about long retired musicians, is wonderfully touching, addressing in an artistic way all sorts of chronic problems and aging issues, including losing the ability to perform to the level they were used to as professional musicians. All of the extras are retired musicians — one man in his nineties — all of whom still love and enjoy their art. Dustin Hoffman, the director is 75. The credits recognize the more prominently featured elder musicians, explaining where and what they did professionally.

I cannot say enough about how good this movie is to watch, and the way it celebrates the elder years. It tackles the frustrating problems of ageism head on. Read this Quartet review in the Boston Globe.

Are Boomers As Healthy As They Think?

Over and over the media refer to boomers as a health conscious generation, and boomers often assume that their generation is healthier than their parents’ generation.

Now new research, just published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, reaches conclusions that dispute the rosy boomer heath assumptions.

Click this image to watch a video about the NHANES survey.

Click this image to watch a video about the NHANES survey.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Health Examination  Survey (NHANES – Check out this informational video), researchers compared data from 1988-1994 for our parents’ generation and data from 2007-2010 for the boomers. This means that they were examining health data from similar age groups. The results are dramatic.

Some of the Findings

  • In the older generation, 32% the those surveyed reported excellent health, while only 13.2% of boomers reported excellent health.
  • Obesity was more common in the boomer generation.
  • Regular exercise was less frequent in boomers’ lives.
  • Hypertension was more common in boomers with 43% reporting the condition, but only 36% of their parents reported hypertension at the same age.         Continue reading

Aging Boomers May be a Great Market

Check out Aging Boomers Seen as More of a Market than Burden, a January 1, 2013 article appearing in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

I've been thinking about starting a small business, and apparently I'm not alone!

I’ve been thinking about starting a small business, and apparently I’m not alone!

The article, by reporters Franco Ordonez and Casey Conley of McClatchy Newspapers, points out that, “… the 78 million boomers – born from 1946 to 1964 – have always broken the mold in terms of setting trends, and some investors and business and community leaders see their retirement as no different.”

While plenty of leaders and policy makers are moaning and groaning about the potential strain on the economy as boomers begin to use government benefits, few or these leaders seem to take into consideration the fact that boomers are working longer and in general reinventing themselves as well as the important parts of their lives — while the generation moves along. The article also points out that many venture capitalists are now asking new start-ups if they have developed an “over-fifty” plan for their businesses. Many seniors, as they retire, are even developing small businesses.

Best Quote

“It’s only in Washington that 100 million people are viewed as an unaffordable cost and financial burden,” said Jody Holtzman, a senior vice president at AARP. “In the private sector, 100 million people are called a market and an opportunity.”

  1. Check out the AARP Self Employment Page.
  2. Check out AARP 50+ entrepreneurs opportunities and resources article.

Congrats for Denver Post Commentary on Ageism

Huge congratulations to my friend Carol over at Inside Aging Parent Care!

Visit the Inside Aging Parent Care blog.

Today the Denver Post published her commentary — sharing some of her thoughts and ideas about ageism. Carol explains that even those of us who are currently growing older and into retirement years need to adjust our understanding about what it means to reach our later years. Even we have a tendency to make inaccurate assumptions about the late-in-life years.

So head on over to the blog or directly to the piece, Perceptions of the Elderly are Clouded by Ageism.

Best Quote                          Continue reading