If you find the actual experience of getting older to be better than you thought it would be when you when you were younger, you're far from alone. The results of a Gallup & Robinson/Pfizer survey released on Monday, June 18th at 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, painted an encouragingly positive picture of Boomers' attitudes and expectations about the quality of their lives as they age. The research included subjects 18 and older and although many views were shared by all age groups, the 50+ respondents -- from their vantage point of experience -- had the rosiest view of what it really means to live long and well.
Here are some of the key findings:
Of those over 50+, 41% said they were “optimistic" rather than “uneasy”, “angry” or “prepared.” Younger people were less likely to feel optimistic as they peered into a more distant future.
Boomers who say that aging is turning out to be better than they expected cite good continued health (74 percent), wisdom (72 percent), and greater appreciation for friends and family (72 percent) as the reasons for their satisfaction as the years go by.
In all age groups including those over 65, a majority think they look younger than their age, and 40 percent of all people think they are wiser than their age.
People in all age groups expect to live to almost 90.
Those 65 and older are more likely to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day than any other age group.
70 percent of those 65+ say they are more active at their age than their parents were at the same age, while only 27 percent of those 18-34 say they are more active than their parents were when at the same age.
This is not to say that the 50+ group is worry-free. A whopping 64% of those over 65 are afraid of losing independence or living with pain. And only 25 percent of them would want to live with a younger relative if they could no longer care for themselves even though 51 percent of those 18 to 65 would be willing to take in an elderly relative.
Given a list of lifetime achievements from which to choose, those 18 to 34 rank having $1 million first. But by the time people reach 65, the wish for wealth has slipped to second place. What tops the bucket list for older Americans? Answer: Living to see their grandchildren graduate.
The survey kicks offPfizer’s multi-year "Get Old" initiative, which has the mission of improving health and well-being for people at every stage of life. The ambitious outreach project is supported by nearly a dozen advocacy organizations including the International Longevity Center at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Men’s Health Network, National Family Caregivers Association, Visiting Nurse Associations of America, and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.
Get Old aims to amplify the aging conversation and learn more about how Americans at all ages are tackling aging for themselves, their families, and society. At the center of this project is a first-of-its-kind interactive online community, www.GetOld.com, where you can find and share information, and add to the dialogue.
“We all have one thing in common – each day we get older," says Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer. "At every age and stage of our lives, we can make choices and take actions that will help us live longer and better. At GetOld.com, we want to hear what people want and need to live better and healthier, and create a forum for dialogue on what it means to ‘get old’ today.”
When you visit GetOld.com, you'll be able to share and view stories, photos, and videos and you'll have the opportunity to cast your own ballot on such issues as whether you feel "Angry, Uneasy, Optimistic, or Prepared" when it comes to your attitude about aging. You can also join the Get OldFacebook community at www.facebook.com/GetOld or participate via Twitter at www.twitter.com/GetOld.
The creators of GetOld.com sum up the spirit behind the effort with these worthy goals:
Celebrate the experiences, wisdom, and knowledge that come with getting older.
Provide actionable information to help people manage their health.
Connect with people around the common human truth that everyone wants to live the longest, fullest life possible.
Have a better quality of life at any age.
We hope you'll jump in over at GetOld.com and make your own contributions to what promises to an exciting and valuable venture!