On the dawn of an auspicious day, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, and the oldest president-elect in history at 78. According to Bloomberg, Biden is 40 years older than America’s median age, and although his age has been fodder for some rumblings, he also brings wisdom and experience to the position and a willingness to appoint leaders that more accurately reflect the diversity of the nation.
Along those lines, Biden has a plan to help the growing proportion of seniors maintain dignity and a decent standard of living in older age without relying on family to support them. Keeping the lid on prescription drug prices, strengthening healthcare and social security for all older Americans, supporting caregivers and helping older workers stay in the workforce if they desire are all components of the Biden administrations’ framework for the next four years.
In response to those who question Biden’s fitness to fulfill his duties as president, Biden released his medical history in December which describes his health as that of a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency”. With a history of brain aneurysms and blood clots in the late 80s, Biden takes blood thinners and medication for acid reflux, cholesterol and seasonal allergies. His continued good health is attributed to a commitment to exercising at least five times each week and abstaining from smoking and alcohol.
According to a recent study, published in the Journal on Active Aging, Biden may be considered a “super ager” and with his dedication to fitness and a healthy lifestyle is projected by researchers to have a 95 percent chance of surviving a four-year term as president. As a white male with a high income and access to the best doctors, along with a family history of longevity, the study project’s Biden’s life expectancy to reach 96.8.
The encouraging news is that older adults who embrace a healthy lifestyle; a Mediterranean diet, stopping smoking, getting regular exercise and limiting or avoiding alcohol can enjoy healthier aging. Along with regular health screenings and stress management, seniors can make changes to their daily lives that help to lower their biological age and allow them to thrive doing meaningful work in later life.