By June Fletcher
What worries people of caregiving age most about growing old? According to a new online survey by the Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com of more than 1,000 boomers, it's changes to physical abilities (28%) and health issues (26%).
Yet even though they are concerned about their fitness and health, many boomers are optimistic about the prospect of their own aging. Six out of 10 survey respondents expect to live longer than their parents' generation, and almost half expect that the quality of their lives will be better. About 42% expressed positive emotions about growing older, like confidence and happiness. "In general, boomers feel more in control of the aging process than the previous generation did," Ken Baron, editorial director of LifeGoesStrong.com, told AgingCare.com.
One reason that boomers are relatively upbeat when contemplating their golden years is that they are paying more attention to healthy eating. Nine out of 10 survey respondents said that they are changing their diet as they get older, with 74% eating more fruits and vegetables; 69% reducing their fat intake; 67% losing weight; and 60% lowering cholesterol, eating fewer processed foods or reducing the amount of sugar that they use.
About six out of 10 boomers have also started an exercise program in the past year, but they aren't exactly sweating with the oldies. Walking was the most popular exercise, attracting 35% of those surveyed. More rigorous activities, like hitting the gym, outdoor exercise, sports and weightlifting, all scored less than 13%. Mr. Baron cautioned caregivers not to neglect this aspect of their health, even though exercise may be hard to fit into a busy day. "When you are taking care of others, you have to be mindful to take care of yourself, too," he said.