Aging In America

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As I emerged myself into this week’s material, my main takeaway is that I do not think about aging. I know most men in my family live to be in their 70s and women into the 70s to 90s, but I do not think about aging from a personal aspect. I am aware that death will eventually come but with my son about to turn two, it is not something I sit and ponder. Not to mention that I will be reaching the 25 year mark next April, which to me is still very young. This made me recall the comments that Dan Buettner made in his TED lecture and how he compared other cultures to the American culture in terms of aging. I think one of the things that concerned me was the increase in isolation it appears that Americans have put themselves in. Buettner explains, “That fifteen years ago the average American had three good friends, and that is now down to one and half” (2009). This leads me to two questions and whether or not the make an impact when it comes to increasing the life spans of Americans. The first deals with friends and whether having them can help to expand one’s life or not? The second deals with …show more content…

In an article by Howie, Troutman-Jordan, and Newman they concluded, “For older adults the quality of social relationships has a greater impact on well-being than the quantity of contacts” (pp. 68, 2014). Stevens and van Tilburg continued on to say this, “Merely having friends is not sufficient….a combination of qualities in different levels of friendship is most beneficial” (pp. 31, 2000). This being said it appears that by having friends to help alleviate the loneliness that many older individuals feel can help alleviate this and improve overall well-being which could have a positive impact on increasing the life span. My second question deals with if depression impacts one’s life span. According to Drs. Wolkowitz, Epel, Reus, and

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