Welcome to the Brave Old World

Few changes will have as seismic an effect on the United States as the rate at which it's growing older. The unprecedented proportion of older adults means change in every corner of our lives: our families, our workplaces, our communities. Columbia News21's Brave Old World looks at our collective future.

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Visualizing Our Future Selves

How will the country's demographics change over 40 years? How does our sex, race and ethnicity affect our health, now and later? How does the financial picture look for retirees? This interactive allows users to enter their information and get answers, using projections from economists, biostatisticians and demographers.

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A Town Ahead of the Age Wave

In 2050, one of every five Americans will be over 65. Aiken, S.C., has already hit that demographic milestone and faces the challenges bound to affect us all in only a few decades — administering health care, providing transportation and financing services for both young and old.

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The Family Caregiver

At some point, most older adults will likely need help with anything from cooking meals to counting pills. Often care falls to their families — to spouses, children, grandchildren. Here, five families share how they deal with the worries and satisfactions of old age: by seeking help, moving in, moving out — and pulling together.

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Finding DIY Ways to Age in Place

Some are sharing homes; others are building cohousing communities or forming villages with their neighbors; a few are bringing assisted living to their beloved recreational vehicles. Unhappy with the existing options, seniors are experimenting with innovative ideas to age in their homes and communities.

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Aging on the Job

As the first of 70 million baby boomers turn 65 this year, many are delaying retirement. Hear from 20 seniors who've never stopped working, watch retirees try out a new career, and read what companies like Dow Chemical and Kaiser Permanente are doing to keep their workers on the job.

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