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Research Review

Gerontologist: Boomers' Quality of Life a Public Imperative

With 76 million baby boomers on the retirement horizon, “we need to develop a new paradigm where instead of seeing aging as loss, we see aging as something that involves gain," says John Krout, PhD, professor of gerontology and director of the Gerontology Institute at Ithaca College. He explains that a growing body of research shows the aging brain is not all a story of decline.

Under Krout’s leadership the Gerontology Institute recently launched a Center for Creativity and Aging—The Linden Center. “The Linden Center responds to a public imperative, on the local and national level, to explore and understand how older people can continue to flourish creatively and remain engaged,” says Krout. The center will provide grants to faculty and students funding research, model programs, internships, and public education on creativity in the later stages of life. Additionally, the center will develop community-linked programs involving elders exploring creative arts for the first time, as well as engaging college students with elders.

“We need to think of our aging population as a rich resource and I think boomers are the leading edge of a potential revolution in old age. They will change how our institutions relate to older adults and how we define old age for our family and ourselves. They [boomers] are astute politically and will demand solutions to their problems and the issues they care about, particularly about their quality of life; they will not retire to the front porch,” says Krout. “Boomers present new and exciting opportunities for greater creativity in all walks of life.”

— Source: Ithaca College