What Were We Thinking: Past, Present and Future of Aging Policy and Practices

August 18, 2021



In fifty years, when members of Generation Z are living with the impact of governmental and societal decisions concerning older adults, this question will arise: What were we thinking? Imagine it is the year 2071, fifty years from now. Gerontology students are reading about how older adults were described and cared for in 1971: As a homogenous group of people needing care and unable to advocate for themselves. Relegated to living in substandard conditions in nursing facilities, medicated to manage mental health challenges and ignorant of technology. Come back to 2021 where these same students observe continuing age segregation, inaccessible community design, housing shortages, end-of-life care challenges, a lack of diversity in terms of individualized care and an ongoing emphasis on acute care over prevention, health, and wellness. There is an opportunity today to identify, discuss and prioritize answers to the issues that impact aging in MN now and during the past fifty years. Why not identify the answers right now?

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