By Dr. Rich Bimler, Lutheran Life Communities –
Good news abounds from a Spring, 2012 survey of 2250 adults over 60 by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Check out some of these findings:
1. Over 80% say they have a strong sense of purpose and passion about life
now and in the future.
2. 92% report that they manage their stress levels well.
3. 80 % are confident that they can manage their health conditions on their own.
4. 94% say that they communicate well with their doctors regarding health questions and concerns.
5. 65% say that the past year of their life has been normal or better than normal.
Where do you fit into these statistics above? Do they give a fair and accurate picture of you and your friends? With older adults living longer and more active lives, and with more than 77 million “baby boomers” turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day, the USA is experiencing historic growth never before experienced. It certainly affirms one thing – that the Lord really loves older people, because He’s making so many more of us!
Regardless of how we view these statistics, a crucial question is “How are we as individuals, families, congregations, and communities preparing for this aging population?” May I suggest that if you and your friends are not discussing this question, that you intentionally take the time to do so, right now, as we all continue to celebrate God’s gift of aging!
What a joy and what a challenge we have to deal positively with these issues and questions! If not now, when; if not us, who? We are all “experts” as we age in place. We are all caregivers to others as we continue to talk the talk and walk the walk by dealing with financial security, purposeful living, health and wellness, community resources and support, and our relationship with our Lord.
Join with The Arlington of Naples to empower others to see aging as a blessing instead of a burden, even as we older adults deal with the challenges of the aging process. Exciting times indeed to be aging and to see every day as a day to give away to others!
(To access the full survey, go to www.ncoa.org/UnitedStatesofAging.)