Trend Spotting

Dr. Mary Manz Simon,
ALOA Board of Directors

Trend-spotters crawl out of the woodwork at this time every year.

Since the pandemic, the general public has paid more attention to these observations. After all, we have learned through experience that societal and cultural shifts can dramatically impact everyday life.

However, trends are merely a collection of impressions and reflections unless they offer insights that are significant to you.

As we prepare to begin 2024, which of these emerging trends are shaping your journey through aging?

  • Technology expands options to stay longer in our own homes. Wearable devices, telehealth and smart homes allow more older adults to stay in their own homes later in life. Are you among the three-quarters of Americans above the age of 50 who want to age More than 78 percent of older adult living communities are pet-friendly. Some facilities, especially memory care sites, even offer automated fur babies which offer health benefits without care responsibilities. Are you a pet owner?
  • Eco-friendly design options are increasingly popular. Choosing sustainable practices is especially important for older adults on a fixed income. In what ways do you prioritize energy efficiency, upcycling or other types of eco-sensitive living?
  • Active aging has surged. Preventing “functional decline” through health and wellness initiatives can redefine our later years. In what ways do you reject the stereotype of aging as “sitting in a rocking chair?”
  • More grandparents are raising grandchildren. The most recent census revealed that an increasing number of grandparents are primary caregivers for grandchildren. This lifestyle change dramatically moves beyond mere multigenerational living. Do you know an older adult who is raising grandchildren?
  • The “attention economy” stretches into a 24-hour day. Time becomes increasingly precious as we age. With the explosion of content and communication options, “cultural noise” and distractions are ever present. What influences how you invest your time?
  • Remote work expands possibilities for older adults. Instead of retiring, some older adults continue to be employed through the pandemic “spinoff” of flexible work environments. How many older adults in your friend-group still earn a paycheck?

Check out this video to find out more about how life stages impact the ways in which we share values. 

Play video on Life Stages

Take a look at previous posts for more inspiration for older adult ministry.

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