Growing Old


Editor's Note: Due to an illness, Rudy was unable to provide a column this month. This piece is from our archives, originally published in Pulpit Helps, February 2004.

It is no secret that the American population as a whole is growing older. The 60-year period between 1960 and 2020 has a projected increase of 410% for the 60-plus age group. The projected increase for the total population is 157%.

What does that mean to Christian people-helpers? It means we will be serving more and more senior adults more often. Counselors will face some interesting challenges and opportunities in the coming years.

Some gerontologists break the senior adult population (60-plus) into three distinct groups: young old (60-75); old (75-85); and oldest old (85-plus). About 50% of those in the oldest group require some form of assistance with the normal daily activities of living. Only 5% of the 60-plus group live in nursing homes. In fact, the majority of older adults live independently, never spending any time in a nursing home. 

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