Term Paper: Successful Aging as Viewed

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[. . .] Therefore, they regularly job-hop and opt for creative, entrepreneurial ventures.

General Characteristics of Generation X and the Baby Boomers

Generation X: shaped by dual career and single parent families and by organizational change resulting from advanced technology and globalization (Eisner, 2005)

Baby Boomers: shaped by prosperity resulting from the sixties youth culture and the war

Generally cynical, alienated and depressed

Very loyal to the organization or employer

Comprises of pessimistic and individualistic people

Characterized by idealism, optimism and self-driven

Although they are comfortable change and diversity, this generation rarely remains loyal to an organization

Comprises of diligent workers

Comprises of independent people and self-sufficient

Has a high value for organizational authority

This generation is likely to look for challenging work, which provides better pay

Their primary objective is consensus building

Has the capacity to alter the rules, if it will get things done

Comprises of excellent mentors

Very skeptical when it comes to authority

Constitutes of a competitive category, which advocates for change and expansion

The generation also values personal and professional lives, but view them from an equal perspective (Eisner, 2005)

Characterized by ruthless when pursuing material success

Shows tendencies of micro-managing others (Eisner, 2005)

Values work and makes it core in their member's lives

Successful Ageing: Perceptions of the Baby Boomers and Generation X


Numerous studies support the concept of health in relation to successful ageing. This involves all other activities, which an individual (older or young) takes part in aiming at maintaining or managing an individual's life. Research suggests that physical activity is an effective precaution for preventing chronic disease and ensuring the psychological well-being in elderly people. Baby Boomers, who constitute of the largest population, values engagement in healthcare provision. This generation often seeks counsel and brings any complaints concerning ill health to the physicians (McCkaren, Pickens, and Wells, 2009).

People in this generation take part in the decision-making process for their aging parents while inquiring on the health needs of their children. They also view health a significant aspect, which has a substantial impact on the aging process. On the other hand, the generation X, comprise of people born around the year 1961-1981, show great interest and values inclusion in education services. Generation X is relatively healthy when compared to the older generations, but they are very curious and actively seek information concerning health issues. Like the Baby Boomers, they also view health as a significant contributor to successful aging (McCkaren, Pickens and Wells, 2009).


Prior studies suggest that when choosing literature appropriate to the economic status, it is important to consider the population under study. For this paper, we cannot utilize a sample of people aged over 85 years because most of them do not work. People comprising generation x and baby boomers, are still working, and they are appropriate for this study. According to McLaughlin (2008), wealth refers to the ownership of different assets. Wealth is permanent and has some consistency in indicating an individual's economic status. In addition, wealth is significant in successful aging because it has the capacity to provide security in periods of reduced income such as retirement or job loss.

Wealth also offers protection in cases of increased expenses such as increased medical expenditures, which may occur due to illnesses. Owing to the fact that wealth accrues over time, it is possible that the baby boomers really relate it in terms of successful aging (Galobardes, 2006). This is because this generation shows dedication to their job, for gaining. Baby boomers also comprise of diligent workers, and research suggests that these people are ruthless when in pursuit for material success (Eisner, 2005). Therefore, it is evident that baby boomers value wealth, owing to the reasons provided above, which include protection from increased financial needs such as the onset of illness. On the other hand, generation x comprise of people who will work under challenging conditions just to get a better pay. These also suggest that they value wealth, which accrues over time.

In support for this, prior studies suggest that material wealth has a direct correlation to successful aging. For many, especially the boomers, show concern in respect to retirement, which interrupts their well-being because the lack a source of income. Living on a small fixed income limits the lifestyle and the capacity to adapt to the needs associated with aging. People with substantial amounts of wealth at retirement can access various opportunities. This concept on the relationship between wealth and well-being gunners support from the micro-economics theory, which states that an increase in the level of income of a society, would result to other things remaining constant to a greater well-being (McLaughlin, 2008)

Government Impact

Although population aging is a "crisis" in a way, owing to the fact that the older population will not contribute to the development of a country, governments in the globe are viewing ageing from a different point-of-view. For instance, the New Zealand government has approached this challenge through its Positive Ageing Strategy (PAS) (Glasgow and Davey, 2006). However, it is not the only country, which has adopted a positive model to cater for the ageing population. PAS comprised of some strategies influenced by public perception of the aging people. Their strategy did not favor the boomers or generation x, but included them because ageing was an inevitable period. Therefore, PAS aimed at instilling a positive view concerning ageing, promote attitudes that respect and value the elderly, support the elderly, value the multicultural elderly and value self-reliance (Glasgow and Davey, 2006).


Research suggest that generation x comprise of educated people when compared to the baby boomers. However, research suggests that although the baby boomers are inadequately educated, they take part in education at their later stages of life. This is because they know that education has a connection to the well-being, which is consistent (Meeks and Murrell, 2001). In addition, baby boomers take part in learning because educational attainment has a link to lower levels of negative effect, which in turn has a correlation to better health and leads to an increased satisfaction with life. Prior research also comments that with education, both generations will be in a position to develop superior techniques for solving problems and coping with change.

In the education context, boomers and generation x constituents, will require a continuous education or learning process to efficiently transition from the current lifestyle to another. This is because as one ages, there are several things that change. Their capability to see hear, or remember alters substantially. In addition, an individual will lack the ability to keep up with simple tasks such as reading, although they were in a position to before (Warnick, 1999). This will call for education in various forms to enable an individual to adapt with life. For instance, the aging may require to study on how to walk with a cane, or learn how to use the braille as a form of education. In other cases, still in the aging process, the generations embrace technology as outlined earlier on this paper (Slangen-DeKort et. al., 2001). Others even complete tasks such as shopping online or by utilizing the telephone.


Both boomers and generation x comprise of people who value the family. Using the information provided by the Pew Research Center tabulations from the March Current Population Surveys (1963, 1978 and 2009), 64% of generation x aged 29-44 was married, and whereas 67% of boomers aged, 45-63 were in marriage. Although some factors such as death rendered people single, the study suggested that when the two generations grow older, they would not prefer to be alone. The two generations agree that family is a source of social support especially when they grow old or in the process of aging. The family serves as a source of protection by enhancing self-esteem, source of encouragement and promoting sound behaviors (Bovbierg et al., 1995). The family also provides food, clothing, and many other necessities, which are important during the aging process, to accomplish successful aging.


Strong relationships and social support systems are some important aspects, which contribute successful aging in both generations. This is because, solitude or lack of social interaction, is a contributor to health risks. However, prior studies suggest that there is a sound correlation between social support and social networks to the probability to cardiovascular and other causes of mortality for men than women (Berkman et. al., 1999). In the boomer generation, this gender variation arises because of the commitment of women to creating friendships, whereas men spend most of their time in their jobs (Unger et. al., 1999). Therefore, they lack the social ties to use the social networks. However, for the generation x men and women, they both have time to socialize, especially through the social networks.

Earlier studies comment that social ties are important in successful aging for both boomers and generation x This is because when they are in the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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