At a time in our cultural development when household ownership of televisions stands at 96.7 percent and paid movie admissions account for tens of billions of dollars each year, one cannot underestimate the power of the moving image to entertain, educate and inform the public. There are countless academic studies about the influence that movies and television have on the development of attitudes and values.
There are some demographics about aging in the United States that the media loves to quote, and certain statistics are repeated again and again.
We can’t escape the fact that more than 10,000 people turn 65 each day in our country, a trend that will continue for the next 19 years. We are well-aware that there are more women living past age 80 than there are men. And we understand that, by the year 2030, the U.S. population will contain the largest cohort of elders that it will likely ever accommodate.
Love them or hate them, you have to admit that participation in online social sites can sometimes take you on tangents, catching you off-guard. My particular experience involved jumping from planning a knitting project to pondering the ways in which LGBT elders self-identify, and how the media can affect that identity.
GLBT elders have been called an invisible generation. A search of Google scholar using the terms “invisibility of GLBT elders” will show more than 2,000 journal articles referencing this phenomenon. Some older folks, especially those in the “pre-Stonewall” generation (those aging prior to the late 1960s), lived a discreet personal life, which enabled them to survive in a hostile social environment. Many in this WWII generation are proud they were able to hide their sexual orientation.
Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All
By Nancy J. Altman and Eric R. Kingson
The New Press, $12.75, 208 pages,
Many of the ills facing older Americans today began years ago, when they were victims of age discrimination in the workplace, resulting in terminations and layoffs, chronic unemployment and, ultimately, a financially impoverished early retirement.
Demographic changes forecasted in the doubling of the baby boomer population between 2012 and 2060 will challenge public administrators as cities plan how to provide sufficient services for older adults. This changing aging population will by necessity make local governments more aware of community design and the need to provide services that are elder friendly.
Under the auspices of Pope Francis’s leadership, many have noticed a change in how the Catholic Church interacts with individuals, organizations and the media. There is an expectation that significant change in Catholic teaching might be on the horizon. But have there been any changes in how the Church approaches issues of aging?
Catholic Views on End of Life
Share your ideas, experience and passion! Submit a proposal to present at the 2016 Aging in America Conference.