Life expectancy in most countries has roughly doubled since 1900, marking one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. Now, scientific advances and new social roles are needed so that older people can live with purpose and dignity. Beyond simply adding years, we can improve the quality of life if we see things through the lens of longevity. The Stanford Center on Longevity’s “A New Map of Life” initiative has been examining how to change the very nature of education, recast work-life trajectories, and align our environments, lifestyles, and healthcare systems in ways that lead to more happy and productive years. Ultimately, we can get to a point where we see longer lives not as a burden, but as a benefit. Aging Reinvented refers to the disruption of stereotypical roles and expectations that society places on older generations. Many aging individuals are pursuing their own vision for their “golden years.” They are rejecting the traditional milestones and phenomena that were once accepted as inevitable—retirement, increased dependency, a more sedentary lifestyle, and loneliness. However, issues of ageism prevail, particularly in the workplace. This must be addressed as older generations are increasingly remaining economically, professionally, and socially active for longer.
An ageing world