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Study seeks to change perceptions of aging

June 19, 2012

In the past, there may have been some negative thoughts associated with aging, but things have changed. A recent study conducted by Pfizer and multiple other organizations found there is a renewed sense of optimism about growing older.

The study is part of an initiative from Pfizer dubbed "Get Old," which was started in an effort to turn the focus to senior health and other issues facing today's older adults. As part of the program, researchers talked to more than 1,000 adults between 18 and 65 and found some interesting results. Chiefly, they discovered about 41 percent of people over 50 are optimistic about getting old. That's a higher level than those who felt uneasy, angry or prepared.

Researchers also uncovered some reasons as to why there's a renewed sense of optimism when it comes to healthy aging. Respondents who felt good about growing older cited wisdom (72 percent) and a greater appreciation for friends (74 percent) as the reasons why.

"We all have one thing in common – each day we get older. At every age and stage of our lives, we can make choices and take actions that will help us live longer and better," said Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Pfizer's Chief Medical Officer. "There are so many positive role models today who are changing how people think about aging."

The shifting attitudes on aging come as millions of baby boomers are headed for retirement. As many as 10,000 people turn 65 each day, and many of them expect to stay active for decades. Their desire to keep active and healthy is highlighted by the fact that they are increasing the demand for knee and hip replacements, USA Today reports.