Baby boomers prove, old age isn’t so old any more

We just spotted a new study of adults aged 60 and more that confirms something we preach on an almost daily basis here at BoomerCafé: baby boomers are changing what aging means. We saw the study in Bryce Kirchoff’s story on, a website for Minnesota’s Twin Cities Public Television. His title? Old Age Isn’t So Old Any More.

Boomers have always done things a little differently — including how they age. Bolstered by medical advances extending physical mobility and activity and the widened horizons brought on by the Internet era and social media connectivity, this generation is proving that getting older has never looked so good.

A new German study released recently confirms that older adults can expect to age better than ever. On average, the study says, today’s 75-year-olds are cognitively much fitter than the 75-year-olds of 20 years ago. Those involved in the study also reported higher levels of well-being and greater life satisfaction.


“The gains in cognitive functioning and well-being are considerable, and of great significance for life quality in old age,” said Ulman Lindenberger, director of the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

The study was run by a team of researchers representing several major universities and research centers in Germany, including Lindenberger’s. Its findings are based on data gathered from 708 adults aged 60 and over.

To compare individuals from different generations, researchers relied on data from two consecutive aging studies and identified “statistical twins” whose age, education and diagnosed medical illnesses were similar. They then checked comparability by analyzing representative population data that has been gathered in Germany for 30 years.

Researchers believe education, physical fitness and higher levels of independence in old age contributed to the changes they documented.

The study will be published soon in the scientific Journal Psychology and Aging.

[Used with permission and thanks to the author, Bryce Kirchoff.]


  1. Well, we Boomers rebelled at the way our parents viewed many things in life didn’t we? Women’s equality, war, bras, so why not rebel against how they approached aging. Many of my older relatives just stopped changing, kinda like they got stuck in a time warp. Clothes, attitudes, haircuts all stayed exactly the same. We boomers (for the most part) are embracing the changes around us and finding joy at most every turn! We’re rockin’!

  2. There was a recent study of Europeans in their 70s and 80s. Those individuals who switched away from reduced meat consumption to more vegetables, more fruits, more nuts, and more seeds showed a 50% reduction in the risk of disease and a 50% reduction in mortality in those two decades. So, a healthy diet plays a key role, even if you make those dietary changes late in life. But I agree with the above perspective. Nothing impacts health and longevity more than your mindset and your level of happiness. Smile more. Make kindness your religion. Then watch how your health, and quality of life, improve. Good luck to all of us.

  3. Interesting to read the factors that are considering to make a difference. I would alos add mindset to the list. I think our mindset about getting older can have a massive impact on our experience.

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