For all persons on the street with an address in “Any Town, Earth”, we are (as someone echoed my thoughts recently) – all of us, aging. Only, we’re at different pin-points on the continuum from 2 to 102. In the western world, we are overly aware of this as it relates for example to our concentration on, or consternation about the celebrated Boomer generation.
On April 29th the Harvard Center for Population & Development Studies held a symposium to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It was in the reading of a recap on the talking points around their theme “Reimagining Societies in the Face of Demographic Change”, that all my decade or so of study on this topic came full circle.
The conversations on global aging patterns have overlapping aspects. My wonder is, how can we enlighten more people in “Any Town, Earth”?
At an individual level we all relate to the timely touch points in the aging process – wherever we are at any given moment. So what does it matter; how could global aging on a mass scale mean something bigger to us on a Tuesday when it’s raining, and our older us slips on the steps to the doctor’s office?
Lot’s as it happens. Picking one; health care systems. It’s the one aspect in which Any Town will identify with daily. As Alvin Powell, in Managing an Aging Populace paraphrases Julio Frenk, Harvard Dean of Public Health, ‘current systems are mismatched … as health issues are not confined to national boundaries.”