Aging in America
Aging in America is a review of the week’s events and how they affect our culture, economy, politics, and society.
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
“Banish the Keys Talk Create a Conversation,” is my motto for the week.
I posted blogs on how to start the conversation and what action to take. Currently, there are almost 43 million drivers age 65 or older. That’s approximately 20% of the population. Consider this, at any given time someone on the road has been driving over five decades. Cars, roads, and traffic patterns have changed. Have the driving skills of an aging family change? Begin the conversation today. Put a transportation plan for an aging loved one into now!
75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor
This week America acknowledged the attack on Pearl Harbor over seven decades ago. For me this day is bittersweet. Early in my career, I met Bill Craddock a Pearl Harbor Survivor. At 85 years of age, he was a charming flirt and I enjoyed every moment with him. I chauffeured him at Fourth of July and Memorial Day Parades. I also learned that for many who a part of history it was accidental. He was a 17-year-old, Navy diver who survived. His bunk mate did not. I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t remember his name. Bill did. Whenever he spoke of that day on Pearl he mentioned his bunkmate name. Bill passed two years ago. My regret is that I didn’t spend more time with him. I encourage you to learn from my regret. Make more time for those whose laughter you will miss.
Your Children May Not Live to 120
On Friday NPR published “Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For First Time In Decades.” The report stated, the overall death rate for Americans increased because mortality from heart disease and stroke increased. Deaths were also up from Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. More Americans also died from unintentional injuries and suicide. I share this to highlight the importance of interdependence. The multiple connections we make and keep that act as a safety net. A recent movement is the Age Friendly Community. This community that supports residents of all ages. Check to see if your community is involved.
About the Author
Currently, Judi Bonilla is the Director of Program Innovation at Advocates For Aging. She is the first gerontologist to speak at South by Southwest. Judi has also spoken at the American Society on Aging and Certified Senior Advisors conferences. She also served as a fellow for Hispanics in Philanthropy and Senior Service America. Judi is the author of Freewheeling After Sixty a book for older drivers. In addition, the City of San Diego honored her for launching Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.