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Healthy Aging

Authors

Colette Stanzler

Lawren E. Bercaw

Partner

Fidelity Charitable

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Published

2011

Summary

Healthy aging is the process by which American seniors, age 65 and older, maintain physical and mental health, engage socially, and remain active and independent in their communities for as long as they are able.

Read our Social Issue Report on healthy aging which includes: an overview of the social issue, an investment recommendation, information on the return on investment, and ways to take further action.

Seniors are typically defined as individuals age 65 and older, the age at which most Americans can access certain social programs, such as Medicare health benefits. Presently, the number of seniors is growing in conjunction with the aging of the Baby Boom generation, defined as persons born between 1946 and 1964. Approximately 79 million Baby Boomers reside in the United States today, roughly one-fifth of the American population. Boomers are also expected to live much longer than preceding generations, with a current average life expectancy of 83.6 years.

Healthy aging is the process by which American seniors, age 65 and older, maintain physical and mental health, engage socially, and remain active and independent in their communities for as long as they are able. Although some seniors have health conditions that require facility care, seniors with minimal health needs may age in their homes with supportive community services.

Learn more about healthy aging in Massachusetts and New York.

Check out our Guide to Giving for donors and funders interested in healthy aging.

 

ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUE RESEARCH:

Social Issue Research (SIR) reports are a resource to help donors and funders learn about specific social issues affecting at-risk populations and identify high-performing organizations that are addressing those issues. Drawing on research and interviews with experts representing government, academia, nonprofits, and foundations, social issue reports provide an overview of the issue, populations affected by it, approaches to address it, and investment recommendations on how donors and funders can take action. The report is complemented by state reports that frame the issue in the local context and a method – a guide for donors – that provides criteria to evaluate organizations working to address the issue.

Table of Contents:

  • Social Issue Report Summary
  • Facts: Healthy Aging in the United States
  • Social Issue Overview: Why Healthy Aging Matters
  • Approaches to Healthy Aging
  • Return on Investment
  • Investment Recommendation
  • Take Action