Who are Older Adults and What Do We Know About them?
The maturation of the first Baby Boomers in 2011 stimulated much public commentary on Boomers and their collective impacts on American society, past, present and future. There has been less public attention to the other generational cohorts of older adults, the “Silent Generation,” the “Great Generation,” and those who are in their 90’s or 100’s (the fastest growing cohort of all).
Within all these generations there are diverse economic circumstances, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, social relationships, information needs and interests in learning or creative expression. In addition, there are diverse health issues affecting individuals and groups across these generations and multiple factors affecting health and longevity. All of these issues are relevant for librarians working with older adults.
The following sections summarize some of the key trends in aging and the new knowledge that is emerging from recent scholarship on older adults:
- Longevity & Health
- New Patterns of Work, Retirement & Learning
- Impediments to Positive Aging
Livable community indicators for sustainable aging in place, The MetLife Mature Market Institute and Stanford Center on Longevity (2013).