USA Today: Challenge for our (ripe old) age

Ted Fishman, author of Shock of Gray and China, Inc., writes that he recently asked a big audience of scientists who attended a panel on aging at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s  annual conference, “How many of you expect to outlive your parents?”  He says a sea of hands shot up.   He then inquired, “How many of you have fewer children than your parents did?” Once again, nearly every hand shot up.

It’s no surprise that our society is aging.  And yet, people continue to have fewer and fewer children.  Is this going to become a problem?

Ted believes “our greatest challenge in an aging world filled with shrinking families, however, is reshaping how we, in our communities, can stay closely knit with fewer blood ties. There is a strong tendency in America to reject the public sphere. If that lasts, figuring out how we might all be each other’s family will demand all the intelligence we can muster. It is the challenge of our age.”

Read more:


About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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