Words made famous by musician Jimmy Buffet, more and more people seem to be embracing the sentiment, especially when it comes to the labels “middle-age” and “senior citizens.” AARP issues membership cards when you turn 50, a milestone that used to mark retirement and the later stages of your life. In fact, AARP is actually an acronym for American Association of Retired Persons, but as Americans – particularly Baby Boomers – have challenged the labels and negative preconceptions of growing older, the organization changed its name to reflect the new attitudes of its ever-increasing membership.
The aging of America is not a new topic but as people live longer, more people are challenging the definition of “middle age.” In the ‘60s, environmental activist and Free Speech evangelist, Jack Weinberg espoused, “don’t trust anyone over 30." Now that Weinberg and his generation are well over 30 their attitudes toward older generations have changed.
Joan Lunden, former co-host of "Good Morning America" and author of the best-selling book "Had I Known," has launched a series on “TODAY” called "The New Middle Age" to explore our society’s changing lifestyles and attitudes. According to "TODAY," “52 percent of readers consider someone 55 years old to be ‘middle-aged.’" And Lunden concurs, "fifty is an eye-opening age. It’s a time to reflect and figure out what you want to do next — it’s not the time to slow down. You’re still healthy and vibrant, and if you think that way, you’ll stay that way."
How do you define middle age and is having a “midlife crisis” a fact or fantasy? Watch the video below to see what “TODAY” experts have to say.
If the time has come that you or a family member is no longer able to maintain an independent lifestyle, contact CalRegistry to discuss elder care services and options available throughout California.