AFS Blog

A future-focused community for all ages

Posted on July 15, 2016 | by Kathy Black
A future-focused community for all ages

Age-Friendly Sarasota is a community FOR ALL AGES – and the phrase also represents an acronym – of which the guiding principles of Age-Friendly Sarasota are based. The“F” stands for future-focused. This long-range perspective beckons us to think ahead about the society we want to be – fully considering the trajectories of the individual life- course - that we will all be living longer; and the implications of our aging demographic - that sectors, such as business, government, nonprofits, media and people, must all adapt to meet the longevity imperative.

On the national level, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab was created in 1999 to invent new ideas and creatively translate technologies into practical solutions that improve people’s health and enable them to “do things” throughout the lifespan. Equal to the need for ideas and new technologies is the belief that innovations in how products are designed, services are delivered, or policies are implemented are of critical importance to our quality of life tomorrow.

The MIT AgeLab is a multidisciplinary research program that works with business, government, and NGOs to improve the quality of life of older people and those who care for them. The AgeLab applies consumer-centered systems thinking to understand the challenges and opportunities of longevity and emerging generational lifestyles to catalyze innovation across business markets. Check out this short video to view the future of aging:

Future-focused means looking beyond pressing current issues to the problems and possibilities years into the future. To provide some context, consider some of the following facts from the U.S. Census Bureau:

- There are currently 45 million Americans age 65 and older and upwards of 10,000 of the nation’s 77 million Boomers (born between 1945 and 1964) started turning 65 every day beginning January 1, 2011. This will continue for the next 15 years.

- People reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19 years.

- As a society, we are getting older and older: the 85+ population is projected to triple from about 6 million now to about 15 million in 2040, and there are nearly 70,000 people age 100 or older in the United States.

“Future-focused” represents an important guiding principle for our collective longevity and for Age-Friendly Sarasota!


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