Aging in the News: April 2022

April 28, 2022
From exploring the health effects of ageism to a new map of life, dive into our news round-up from April 2022.
Yehyun Kim for The New York Times

Exploring the Health Effects of Ageism

The New York Times highlights new research that shows ageism is more than hurt feelings or discrimination – it can take years off of a person’s life. 

Researchers find that subliminal negative thoughts or feelings about age are associated with heart failure, strokes, and heart attack, deteriorating physical function, and Alzheimer’s disease. Whereas positive thinking is found to improve physical function or recovery efforts. 

“…age discrimination, negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging lead to $63 billion in excess annual spending on common health conditions like cardiovascular and respiratory disease, diabetes and injuries.”

Read more about the effects that ageism has on lifespan.

Barrett Emke For The Wall Street Journal

People Who Hate Retirement – and What the Rest of Us Can Learn From Them

The pandemic led many older adults to retire earlier than planned and that accelerated transition has some people struggling in this new phase of life. The Wall Street Journal talks to several older adults and experts about how to find the retirement lifestyle that’s right for you. The consensus: plan ahead. 

“…retirees who were most involved in activities and connected with friends and family were likely to “succeed” in retirement. Moreover, those who took these steps before retirement transitioned into their postwork lives more smoothly.” 

Read the full article. 

Photo courtesy of Elder Care Alliance

Aging Experts Say Seniors Need Help Re-Socializing

Social isolation has always been a concern for older adults, but it became even more extreme during the pandemic. Now, as people return to in-person gatherings, The San Francisco Chronicle highlights the importance of helping older adults transition back to in-person events and includes resources and support for older adults.

“We’ve had to be so focused on vaccines and boosters to save lives. But I’m so glad today we are focusing on vaccines and boosters to bring us back together to reconnect.”

Read more here.

Photo courtesy of Stanford Center on Longevity

The New Map of Life

A new report from the Stanford Center on Longevity emphasizes that most communities were designed for young families, at a time when lifespan was significantly lower. As Americans live longer, our communities must adapt to the growing population of older adults pursuing rich, fulfilling lives. The report highlights some of the work of Wallis Annenberg GenSpace to make those changes. 

“We see ourselves as more of a social laboratory than a conventional senior center,” says GenSpace Director Dr. Jennifer Wong. “We really want to shake up what’s been done and change the narrative around aging and longevity.”

Read the full report.

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