Wait. 3D aging… does that involve funny, dark glasses?
Nope. Three-dimensional aging takes false narratives such as “70 is the new 50” and “it’s all downhill from here” and replaces them with what Dr. Bill Thomas calls “a fully developed portrait” of aging. By this Thomas means celebrating the virtues of getting older without ignoring the attendant difficulties.
“Aging equals growth,” says Thomas. “For humans it actually takes a long time to discover who you’re meant to be.”
Such a holistic approach to aging is a tough sell in America, where individualism prevails and youth is often seen as the best time in one’s life. But Thomas’ approach isn’t new: in community- and family-based societies like Korea, India and Greece, older people are prized, and respect for one’s elders is considered a high virtue.
3D aging challenges us to take a balanced view of older age and offer a corrective to aging care “solutions” such as America’s prison-like nursing homes.
Changing the cultural narrative is essential for the massive number of baby boomers about to leave the workforce, who want to remain active in later life. For them, the ability to continue growing and living well rather than wasting away in a depressing environment will require new models of living and innovative support systems. But by building better care systems and creating new, dynamic modes of living, boomers have a chance to redefine aging in America.
Want to go 3D and redefine aging? Here’s a great place to start: