Older Americans Have Sunny Outlook on Their Health and Future

by Chris Curley on August 9, 2012

Three quarters of Americans over the age of 65 are optimistic about the years to come, Reuters reported Aug. 7.

Like most Americans, seniors worry about their finances and long-term healthcare costs (around 20 percent still work either full or part-time), but most feel that they have great years ahead of them and expect their quality of life to stay the same, according to a new poll from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The reason they are upbeat is because we have changed our definition of aging. People are working longer. They see people that are older being healthier,” says Donna Shalala, Ph.D., the president of the University of Miami and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Seniors’ health worries and finances are interlinked, with 72 percent of those who make less than $30,000 a year saying that they live with a lingering health problem, and half of low- and middle-income seniors saying they may not be able to cover their expenses over the next five to 10 years.

But that can change, says Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer at United Healthcare and Retirement.

“With appropriate preventive care and lifestyle changes, growing older doesn’t have to mean living with chronic disease and disability,” Randal says.

(Photo © Sarniebill1 via Flickr)