Position Yourself As An Active Aging Trainer
December 20, 2018
With ageism so prevalent in America, it is natural for us to have inaccurate perceptions of older adults, even if we have worked with them for years. We tend to think of our very engaged and active clients as being the "exception to the rule". Like if or not, subconsciously this affects the way we approach training them - often making assumptions that they want to just be able to find a way to scrape out a few more years of decent health. Let's challenge that way of thinking!
For the most part, the newest cohort of older adults, the Baby Boomers have been found to be leading incredibly happy and fulfilling lives. They see themselves very differently than older generations that came before them. To illustrate the changing mindset of older adults, consider this: In 2006, the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) published results of a study of 2,500 people aged 65 and older and reported that only 39% of them rated their health as good or excellent. In 2014, the AARP repeated the study on a new group of almost 2,000 older adults and reported that percentage increased to a whopping 66%. Additional recent surveys revealed that over 70% of older adults do not consider themselves “old” at all. In fact, most people now define being old not as a chronological age, but instead as the time when they can no longer live independently or fully take care of themselves. Since almost 80% of people over the age of 65 live independently, it is clear that this new breed of older adults see themselves differently than older adults of the past. And, since many of them are our current and future clients, we need to see older adults differently too!
According to Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, Baby Boomers are the most financially secure cohort of older adults ever and they are set to inherit 70% of the $41 trillion wealth transfers in the upcoming years. And there is a noticeable trend in how they are choosing to enjoy this financial security. Instead of purchasing bigger homes or more expensive automobiles, Baby Boomers are seeking "experiential luxury". This means that they are taking more time and spending money to enjoy things like high-end travel, cultural events, and active recreational pursuits. They will be seeking us out to prepare them to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, ski the slopes of Sun Valley, paddle kayaks in Vancouver, or walk the streets of Paris and Rome.
So let's approach our older clients with a new assumption: our clients want to be the best they can be so they can sieze the day. Help them make it happen!