Every now and again a friend prods me to write something about aging given my focus and involvement between 19996 and 2006 in the public sector with improving quality of life for older people.

We used to point out that it’s one of the last great unknowns….we are creating new footprints into uncharted territory as the world’s population is living longer and  we have no forbears experience as to how to deal with it!

There’s a lot written about aging by many professionals; gerontologists, social care, actuaries, economists; the Government get exercised every now and then urging the public sector to prepare for the changing demographics… which largely goes unheeded. The default focus is health and social care… especially as  the UK elections loom. The majority of blogs and articles I happen to read focus upon health and care issues so I was interested  to read the post on The New Old Age blog by Paula Span, although the focus was still about attitudes to the  “problems” of aging. 

Will Boomers Be Any Different? In 20 or so years, when we baby boomers enter the ranks of the “old-old” ourselves, will we be any different?

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/will-boomers-be-any-different/

But then, maybe in my innocence, I was taken aback by the apparently large amount of negative resentment the post drew. 

In a later post Paula writes:- “I was pondering this month whether the next generation of old people will have values and attitudes different from the current one. I’d intended the post as a way to mull over whether some characteristics that cause widespread complaints among families –  intransigence about accepting help, for instance — were related to membership in a particular cohort as it aged or were products of aging itself.

Is the Greatest Generation (do these folks owe Tom Brokaw, or what?) more apt to be so single-mindedly independent that its children go a bit nuts trying to provide care? Or will its children, the multitudinous baby boomers, behave the same way when they round 80?

What ensued in the comments section was mostly an anti-boomer slugfest”.

How sad that we seem reluctant not only to accept aging (and changing aging) but also nor to learn about change.

So to return to the prod…..I continue to be fascinated by other emerging indications that we are discovering hand and footholds to traverse this new territory……beyond the usual dominance of dealing with “problems of aging”.

I discovered recently Advanced Style. I think this blog does more to profile aspirations and “on the street reality” of well being for people of age than a lot of the well intentioned but slightly patronising obsession with health. It features… fun, dignity, independence and hope!

Its strap line is Proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age. http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

Maybe we should look more to the Arts, fashion & design to highlight what shapes our changing attitude to age.

Advertisements