The Booming Dynamics of Aging: From Awareness to Action

The 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) and its Final Report are about the future. The future is reflected in the theme of the 2005 WHCoA, “The Booming Dynamics of Aging: From Awareness to Action.” The theme shines a spotlight on the changing face of aging in the 21st Century and the need for all Americans to take responsibility to act now to address the challenges of a new century. As policymakers and others review the data, strategies, and suggestions generated both during the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and at hundreds of pre-WHCoA events, they must consider the reality that the future will be very different than the past. In the previous four decades, planning for the future meant absorbing 78 million Boomers first into the education system and then into the work force. The size of this demographic phenomenon has influenced political, social and economic systems in every decade. The Boomers will continue to influence public, social and economic policy for at least the next 30 years. Although Boomers are still from five to 23 years away from traditional retirement age, it is not too early to begin planning for the impact they will have on every aspect of our society and culture. At a minimum, we can reasonably expect the same scope of change that was experienced as they have moved through the first four to six decades. In areas such as Social Security, health care planning, and the workforce, society is already behind the curve. While experience is always important, it is unlikely that we will find all the answers to future problems in the past because tomorrow’s older population can be expected to differ in distinct ways from prior generations: (1) they will be healthier and wealthier; (2) they will be better educated and desire to make contributions beyond traditional retirement; (3) they will be more racially and ethnically diverse; (4) the average age of the older population will increase as the number of centenarians continues to grow, and there will be longer life expectancy; and (5) people are likely to stay in the workforce longer than in the last seven decades.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Report to the President and the Congress
  • Features: CD-ROM; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 175p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01153200
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2010 11:18AM