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Gerontologist. 1996 Feb;36(1):13-4.

Introduction: the many faces of aging: challenges for the future.

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Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, Tarrytown, NY 10591, USA.


In coming decades, the United States will see a major demographic shift as the largest birth cohort in our history approaches its older years; by the year 2030, it has been projected that approximately one-third of the population will be aged 65 or older. Yet the national debate on how we plan to accommodate our aging society is in considerable turmoil. This symposium offers the insights of several leaders in the fields of social work and aging regarding the profound economic, political, and moral implications of the projected changes in society. While medical and technological advances promise greater independence and higher quality of life for some, there is a disturbing trend of economic inequality for future elders. It is expected that the "baby boom" generation will not only bring about major policy changes, but will redefine aging and the search for meaning in what Charles Fahey has termed the "third age." It is certain that the societal values we hold and our commitment to the well-being of our older population today will have a profound impact on what the future holds for old and young alike.

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