We have a host of societal challenges to consider surrounding impending health and aging issues. As a society, we are better at tackling some more than others and if truth be told, there is often a dislocation between the needs and aspirations of the aging population and the youth oriented culture in the United States and other Western democracies.
Our intent and commitment on this project remains focused: with our partners we will develop solutions on how individuals and communities can implement a plan of action to prepare for the years ahead of the aging population.
Today, for the Baby Boomer generation, for economic, social and psychic reasons endeavoring to realign their lives and lifestyles is just as likely a philosophy and pursuit. Either way, if you are part of this generation, defining and embracing what comes next during the remaining course of your life, requires reflection, fact gathering, and discussion with those closest to you. So we are designing this course for individuals and communities – as an educational tool - to give them access to a free resource - information and expertise that will be shared digitally online and through a mobile app and through a podcast (all three, funding permitting).
The online course/digital curriculum will be comprised of a series of comprehensive modules addressing specific, targeted subjects (in a series of four to five course “weeks”). Each of these course modules will be in-depth productions and explorations of such issues as Lifestyle, Health Care, and Financial Planning and even beyond the primary subjects there will be numerous sub-modules that drill down on a variety of topics (with each topic being covered in a sufficiently comprehensive fashion that it essentially constitutes a course within itself.) For instance, “Lifestyle” will take an in-depth look at several components of this subject such as exercise and nutrition, living accommodations, community, social services, and spirituality.
The George Washington University proposes to create, in collaboration with a nationwide roster of university partners, a first-of-its-kind Online Course focusing on the many ways that the very concept of retirement – and end of life planning - is being reframed and the traditional rules of the game are being rewritten by several different generations represented by a population of some 200 million (Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials). Everyone, after all, is aging.
Although there are obviously many existing online resources related to late in life planning and the phase that was once known as “retirement,” this online initiative will create a novel educational resource that will provide information and advice on the fundamental issues facing the vast majority of the population, and it will be produced by a trusted academic institution with the contributions of well regarded and knowledgeable partners.
This course will also be different from a typical online (or on-campus) course in that it will focus on the key components of life planning and yet do so on a personal level that will allow participants to evaluate and consider their individual choices in areas such as housing, community, health care and social services, careers and working life, hobbies and entrepreneurship, nutrition, mental and physical conditioning, and so on. Viewed as a whole, the modules are intended to help participants build a blueprint for mapping a life plan.
As part of the personalized components of the course, our technology team will create an App that translates the best advice from our experts into practice, providing tips and practical tools as a holistic guide to participants’ personal and financial well-being.
Thus, the online course (and app) will give participants the unbiased knowledge and tools that they need to help develop a strategic action plan for the years and decades ahead, decades that will present both challenges and opportunities like no other time in their lives.