Monday, August 14, 2023

Babies born today are likely to live to be 100 years old. That’s great news, but it’s not necessarily true for everyone. There are inequities in how long we live that are based on things like where we live, the color of our skin, and other factors outside of our control (AARP, Building Equity in Longevity, 2021).  This year’s Aging Summit is an opportunity to listen and learn how to advocate for and implement equitable longevity that promotes healthy, pro-aging communities.

It’s evident that closing the longevity gap requires a multi-faceted and holistic approach. Here are some foundational factors and potential ways to promote equity in longevity:

  1. Health:
  • Anything that makes it harder for us to get healthy, stay healthy, or recover when sick will inevitably widen the longevity gap.
  • Ensure access to quality healthcare for all individuals and increase diversity in the healthcare workforce to better reflect the communities they serve.
  1. Financial Prosperity:
  • Where you work and how much money you have, has a distinct correlation to the number of years you will live.
  • Implement policies that address income inequality, such as minimum wage increases and equitable pay practices, to enhance financial stability.
  1. Social Connection and Mental Health:
  • Build relationships through community centers, social clubs, senior centers, and programs that facilitate social interactions and combat loneliness.
  • Integrate mental health services into primary care settings and raise awareness about the importance of mental well-being.
  1. Place:
  • Place has a profound effect on our longevity. The United States currently shows stark disparities across geographic lines.
  • Invest in affordable housing initiatives and public transportation.
  1. Race & Social Justice:
  • Raise awareness about the impact of systemic racism and discrimination on health outcomes and longevity, promoting open dialogue and understanding.
  • Foster collaboration between local government, community organizations, healthcare providers, and businesses to collectively address the longevity gap and promote equity.

Closing the longevity gap requires a collaborative effort and a commitment to social justice. By addressing these factors, communities can work toward ensuring that everyone lives longer, healthier, and more prosperous lives.

Join the Conversation

The 2nd Annual Aging Summit will be held on August 23rd from 8 AM – 3 PM at the NIU Outreach campus in Naperville. The event will build on these topics and address each of the factors that affect the equity gap. We invite you to join us as we create space for meaningful conversations around age, longevity, and inclusive communities. You can register for the Aging Summit at


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