It is easy—and dangerous—to create stereotypes of older adults. Just when you think you have a picture in your head of what a senior is, you realize how very different they are. To borrow a phrase: You’ve seen one older adult and, you’ve seen one older adult.
The 50 million Americans over 65 are more economically and racially diverse than ever, according to a new Profile of Older Americans by the federal Administration for Community Living. Nearly one in ten lives in poverty, but many are financially secure. Today’s seniors will live longer in old age than any generation in history. Many will live to healthy old ages but one in five will need personal care after they reach age 85. Only about 14% of all older adults live alone, but nearly half of women over 75 live by themselves. While we think of seniors as retirees, more older adults are working than in recent decades.