Age is Just a Number

They’re the Aussies aged 60 and over for whom “age is just a number . . .” a new group identified by social researchers as the Downagers.

Nearly a quarter of all over 60’s fit the profile of people who “feel and act far younger than their age would suggest” – and their numbers are growing.

In Aussie they’d be typified by South Australian TV cook and author Maggie Beer, recently named Senior Australian of the Year by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Poster Boy for Youthful Aging

Internationally there can’t be a better poster boy for the Downager set than 64-year-old Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, who with his children Holly and Sam is currently training for April’s London Marathon while maintaining a punishing work schedule.

Sir Richard told the Daily Mail he’d “been travelling non-stop and so far I’ve done training in about 15 different countries – having to get up and get over the jet lag and go running has been quite difficult.

“I did a 12-mile run about two days ago and seemed to survive so hopefully I’ll get around.”

The Virgin United Team is raising funds for vulnerable young people in Britain and it will be the Virgin boss’s first marathon. “I won’t be breaking any records and I just hope my knees hold out,” he noted in his blog.

Don’t Act Your Age

Social researcher and futurologist Mark McCrindle identified ten key trends of social change in Australia – likely to be duplicated in other countries with similar economies – including the return of the “multi-generational household”, which may see three generations of one family under the same roof.

The so-called “Sandwich Generation” is really just a return to 19th century family models, he suggests. These are the Baby Boomers sandwiched between the need to care for their dependent children and the responsibility of caring for their older parents.

They may be responsible for housing their adult children (sometimes with their own young children in tow) along with their own ageing parents.

Value Travel, Technology

The young -thinking oldies were the “fastest growing segment of the 60+ demographic,” said McCrindle, noting they value “travel, lifestyle, social connection and adapt quite easily to new technology.”

Sound like anyone you know?

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