If we are to redesign policies and environments that respond effectively to the challenges of population ageing, we need to reorient ourselves to the opportunities that ageing represents.
Increased life expectancy is one of the most significant success stories of our times. Yet, this tribute to modern science is now considered one of the greatest global challenges as well, according to Laura L. Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.
How did this happen? Two words: age apathy. Simply put, the world has been slow to respond to the needs, dreams, desires, capabilities and expectations of the swelling ranks of older people. With the leading-edge Baby Boomers poised to turn 65 in 2011, “most people are not confident that we are prepared or will be able to handle the costs generated by an ageing population,” shows a recent Harris Poll.