Flex Your Brain: Join the Healthy Aging Challenge at OpenIDEO

June 13, 2013 — 2 Comments

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According to a UN report on aging, the world’s population is aging at an unprecedented rate. By 2050, the number of people 60 years or older will exceed the number of young people under age 15 for the first time in history. The effects of population aging are profound and impact everything from economic growth, labor markets, and taxes to healthcare, housing, and family structures.

Simply put, aging is a fact of life. Our parents, grandparents, friends, ourselves: we all will age. Whether we’re able to stay active, healthy, and retain our sense of autonomy as we age, well, that’s another matter. Which is why this question is so pressing: How might we all maintain wellbeing and thrive as we age?

This is the latest OpenIDEO design challenge posed by Mayo Clinic and it’s one I encourage you to contribute your creativity to. After all, staying mentally active is key to healthy aging.

What aspects of aging are you most concerned about?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Tim Brown

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2 comments on “Flex Your Brain: Join the Healthy Aging Challenge at OpenIDEO

  1. What aspects of aging are you most concerned about?

    Dependency, loneliness and loss of love … and Joy……… a feeling of not being in control, not being able to help myself or others ………. not being valued and of value……..

    Basically watching life go on around me and not being a part of it…….. sad sad sad

  2. I challenge IDEO to start a program for displaced college degreed professionals!

    I see that many people are now unemployed and losing their economic safeguards to protect them as they age. They have lost their jobs, their healthcare, and their homes. The anxiety and stress that this brings on is causing increase in physical and mental illness, as well as an increase in suicides. I see no one addressing these issues for those people over the age of 50 and it will cost our country dearly if it is not corrected.
    • Getting the people who must continue to work training to make them more marketable.
    o Many have college degrees and therefore do not qualify for financial aid
    o Many have degrees that are considered too old and are not taken into consideration
    o Most employers have drawn a hiring line to be under the age of 40
    • Give tax breaks to companies that set up apprenticeship programs to help retrain these people
    o Much of the training could be done online and would not take up company resources
    o Company specific software training where the apprentices could pass aptitude training and then be hired
    o Hire these apprentices for no less than one year
    • Contact all Chambers of Commerce to have members start programs based on their collective employment needs
    • Encourage more telecommuting positions for employees over the age of 50.
    o They must have real salaries, not minimum wage or less, as many will have to provide for their own health needs well past normal retirement age of 65
    o Work that is challenging and rewarding, not just data entry
    o These people understand time management, use them!!
    Many people have lost their retirement and will be forced to work much further into their later years (70+) and positions need to be found where these people can stay productive. Social Security will not provide them with enough money to live. Many want to keep working , to stay stimulated, and energized with life and purpose. Many also are the support for their children and grandchildren as so much of our middle-class has lost everything and are being forced into two and three generational living situations.

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