A Budding Fashion Designer for Elders

What Americans Think About Aging - 2013

ITEM: 57% of U.S. seniors state that overall, the past year of their life has been “normal,” versus 42% of those surveyed in 2012.

ITEM: More than half (51%) of seniors expect their quality of life to stay about the same during the next five to 10 years, while 21% expect it to get much or somewhat better, versus 30 percent of those surveyed in 2012.

Those are two of the top takeaways from the United States of Aging Survey 2013, conducted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), United Healthcare and USA Today.

The survey is based on interviews with 4,000 Americans based on nationally representative samples of age 60 and older, and another group of adults 18 to 59 as a comparison with an oversampling of those 80 and older, low income and people with three or more chronic health conditions.

Here is an infographic of some other survey findings. Click the image to view a larger, more readable version.

All age groups were asked about the preparedness of their communities to handle the needs of a growing elder population. USA Today summarized those responses. Personally, I think they are optimistic in the extreme:

ITEM: 33% of older Americans surveyed say their city or town is not preparing for the future needs of a growing senior population; even more of the younger group (45%) say that.

ITEM: 18% of seniors say their community is not responsive to senior needs; among those younger, 29% say that.

ITEM: Almost a third of seniors rate public transportation and job opportunities in their communities as poor. But three-quarters say health care services are good to excellent.

ITEM: Transportation and affordable housing are the two top areas seniors say their city should invest more in (both 26%); followed by affordable health care and home-delivered meals, both 23%.

My house guest is still here and I am taking most of my time to enjoy our visit so this is just a brief synthesis.

There is a useful survey fact sheet [pdf] and you can find out more by following the various links from this page at the NCOA website.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today: Janet Thompson: The Carnation Milk Can Bed


Fascinating. Are we generally more contented? More assured of some stability? If so, why?

Thanks for posting this. It's a great way to view the collective thoughts of the population!

Lots of baby boomers are entering the "old age" era and are still in the honeymoon phase of old age.

I kind of agree with Victoria. I may have years of decent health but old age cold turn on me at an moment.

Thank you. :)

I am a very happy and healthy 69-year old, but I'm very surprised at the number of "seniors" with chronic health conditions.

Enjoy your time with your guest.

I have, at last, reached the age where I don't worry about the future and just live each day one at a time.

Would sure help if every city had a seniors-oriented transportation plan. Losing the driver's license should not be the trauma it is now.

I'm not so surprised at the number of seniors with chronic health conditions because some chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, are easily treated with inexpensive generic drugs.

I myself have several chronic conditions, one being thyroid disease which was first diagnosed and treated when I was 33. I take medication for it every day.

What really surprises me is the number of seniors with 3 or more such conditions who report that they never exercise for 30 minutes or more. Never! According to my pedometer, this past week I walked for over 4 hours and covered over 20 miles. Not only is it good for my health but also a pleasure to be outdoors.

I am "lucky" in that I moved into an area that was full of retired people 30 years before my time. I had a long time to prepare because everyone was aging around me. The one thing I do see was a huge split in denial of infirmity and dying in the 80+ vs the boomers, the former just avoid the issue. I have prepared for everything, no driving, how to check out if I get dementia etc. etc. I'm not sure if it's because I have seen the consequences of inertia but I feel more fatalistic.

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