Thursday, June 12, 2008

The 70s are the New Golden Years

-Lauren Silverman

The 70s are the New golden years. People have been living longer lives for a while now, but it’s
only recently that old people have actually been able to enjoy the additional years and not simply spend them dreaming about being young again. Old people are partaking in activities that used to be exclusively for young people; they’re breaking norms and transforming the structure of the very society that we know – mostly because of technology.

Technology has not only made old age tolerable, it’s made it enjoyable. Whether its advanced knee surgeries, fancy hiking skis, or all-terrain wheelchairs, technology is making it possible for the elderly to do things like run marathons and conquer mountains. It’s allowing grandma and grandpa to have children when they would normally be having colonoscopies. Because of technology, women are getting pregnant later, the average age is 29.1 (the country with the oldest average pregnancy age is New Zealand, at 29.9, according to 62 year-old men are taking up marathon racing as their newest hobby.

The senior Olympics may not be as popular as the regular Olympics, but the fact that last year in Louisville there were over 10,000 competitors and 20,000 spectators, with oldest competitors being over 100 years old, is pretty telling. Old age doesn't have to be boring anymore.The demand for new technology to help the elderly stay "young" is creating plenty of new tech jobs, yet the elderly’s newfound independence won’t be good news for nursing homes. High-tech homes, equipped with everything from computerized therapy to help boost memory and robot arms to assist with housework, enable elderly people to stay in their homes and make their golden years truly golden. Old people across the nation are joining wrinkly hands to form "naturally-occurring retirement communities" that feature concierge services and weekly field trips to the natural history museum. Sounds pretty good to me.

Our society has reached a tipping point where it’s no longer unpleasant to be old, in fact, it can be quite refreshing.

*Images taken from: and

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