At the front end of this year, I opened with an Aging & Longevity, Conference Round Up, knowing this was just skimming the waves in a vast ocean of dialogue on this topic area. Now at midpoint 2015, it suddenly hit me after much reading, research and conversation that on a regional level around the world from Australia to the USA, we are at a watershed year for what I’ll simply call “Age Talk”.
Only ten days ago, June 13 in NYC, the Columbia Aging Center held their annual Age Boom Academy with the title Global Aging: Danger Ahead?, which is another one of those alarmist titles we have grown used to seeing in the media. At least this time it was positioned as a question.
Without time to come up for air, on July 13 the live streaming White House Conference on Aging takes place, which tops off a series of five US regional forums held so far this year. As Michael Hodin, Executive Director of the Global Coalition on Aging asks in his June 15 Huffington Post blog, is this a “conference on aging or a summit on seniors?”
This is another point that makes this a watershed year for age talk – our conflicting use terminology and focus of discussion is catching up with us – bending the narrative to the point where conversations are often less fruitful considering the broader social issues of global aging demographics.
What are we trying to envision in the future of longevity?