The front cover of the latest issue of the AARP Bulletin says it all. SuperAgers have arrived.
We’re not saying this is literally the first time AARP has used the phrase (we’re not sure). And certainly many others have used it in the past. As we state right at the beginning of our book:
“We didn’t invent the term ‘SuperAging.’ It has appeared in some articles, on a few websites, and in a handful of book subtitles — usually books on how to live longer. In fact, “longevity” is usually what triggers the phrase: adding years to your life span, living longer than what might have been expected, or certainly longer than previous generations were able to accomplish.
“But we think longevity (and SuperAging) can mean — should mean — much more than that. It’s a totally new way to view what aging actually is: not just mathematically more years, but different years, with dramatically different characteristics. Instead of a relatively short period of decline, aging now becomes a dynamic, positive time of life. Instead of mere survival, there is growth, development, new possibilities and achievement.
“You get older without getting ‘old.'”
So we’re not hogging the terms SuperAging or SuperAgers. Far from it — the more widespread they become, the better.
But the orientation of AARP’s report is very much toward health — check your blood sugar, check your blood pressure, and so on. This, of course, is vital — and there is a huge supply of books, websites, YouTube channels and more on the topics of health, diet and fitness. No SuperAging program can even get started without this.
But there’s a lot more, too. In fact, the whole thrust of our argument is that SuperAging demands a wide-angle lens.
What about working past retirement? What about outliving your money? What about independent living? What about keeping up with technology and new medical research — how do you cope with the tidal wave of information and decide what matters, what demands immediate action, what can be ignored or delayed? What about ageism (still rampant) and the forces that want to stop you from realizing the full potential of SuperAging?
Being a SuperAger is incredibly exciting, but it also means you’re busy! We’re excited that more and more people are taking the wide-angle approach we advocate, and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with you!