On Aging

older man and woman

Just Turned 40? An Architect Says It’s Time To Design For Aging

When Architect Matthias Hollwich was approaching 40, he wondered what the next 40 years of his life might look like. He looked into the architecture that serves older adults, places like retirement communities and assisted living facilities, and didn’t like what he saw. But what if we changed our habits earlier in life so we could stay in the communities we already live in?

new agingArchitect Matthias Hollwich, a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has partnered with Bruce Mau Design to produce the book New Aging: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever.

The book discusses how to build not only living quarters but also social networks and communities to keep people engaged with society while they age. Social isolation is one of the most common and most debilitating aspects of aging. People who are able to maintain social ties do better both physically and mentally as they age.

I tried on a suit that simulates being an 85 year-old, and it totally changed how I view aging

Chris Weller writes for Tech Insider:

I recently visited the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey to check out the Genworth Aging Experience, a new exhibit from Applied Minds that uses a high-tech exoskeleton to let people feel what life is like at 85 years old.

The suit allowed Weller to experience common ailments of aging, including macular degeneration, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), speech impediments, and physical impairments. Using virtual reality goggles and a treadmill, Weller discovered how difficult a walk on the beach, which most younger people find a soothing experience, is for an older person.

For the first time in history, people 65 years and older now outnumber children 5 and younger around the world. Without a clear understanding of how the world’s demographics are shifting, we can’t fully prepare for the change or appreciate its effects once it happens.

Follow the links in the article to learn more about the Genworth Aging Experience.

Multigenerational Homes That Fit Just Right

The number of Americans living in multigenerational households — defined, generally, as homes with more than one adult generation — rose to 56.8 million in 2012, or about 18.1 percent of the total population, from 46.6 million, or 15.5 percent of the population in 2007, according to the latest data from Pew Research. By comparison, an estimated 28 million, or 12 percent, lived in such households in 1980.

An interesting article about houses specially designed to hold two or three generations while allowing each its own space.

Why Do Older People Love Facebook? Let’s Ask My Dad

In a survey of over 350 American adults between the ages of 60 and 86, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that older people enjoy the same things their younger counterparts do: using Facebook to bond with old friends and develop relationships with like-minded people. They also like to keep tabs on their loved ones.

There’s more evidence here that older adults are one of the fastest growing groups on social media: “As Facebook continues to be a bigger part of American life, the ever-growing population of older Americans is figuring out how to adapt.” As we boomers continue to age, communicating via social media will become increasingly important.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

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