Shorts: Seniors

Public transit ill-prepared for future users

washington (cns) | By 2030, the number of Americans who are age 65 or older will double to more than 70 million.

“As a larger percentage of Americans grow older and live longer, we need to work fast to find new ways to provide essential transportation choices,” said William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association. “Public transportation will be called upon to do more, and we will be prepared.”

However, a study last year by the Surface Transportation Policy Project, AARP and APTA found that the United States is ill-prepared to provide adequate transportation choices for a rapidly aging population of baby boomers.

The study found that more than half of all non-drivers age 65 and older stay home largely because transportation options are limited, particularly in rural and smaller communities.

More than 6,000 public transportation systems nationwide currently provide various forms of service for older riders, ranging from reduced fares and expanded use of low-floor vehicles to personalized travel training sessions for seniors and policies that allow drivers to deviate from fixed bus routes to better accommodate older riders.

Boomers not rushing to quit their jobs

(cns) | Half of Americans ages 50 to 70 want jobs that contribute to the greater good now and in retirement, according to a recent survey.

The vast majority of baby boomers told pollsters that, unlike their parents, they plan to work in retirement, they need continued income and they want greater flexibility in retirement jobs.

The survey, conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates, found that two out of three types of work mentioned most often were jobs in education and social services. The third was retail.

More bottled water, more tooth decay?

Most people in their 50s have had the benefit of fluoride — a proven decay fighter — for most of their lives. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 1999 put fluoridation among the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, according to a story.

But dentists are reporting an increase in tooth decay with the rise in popularity of bottled water, according to the Internet story. It reported that in 2004 Americans drank nearly 6.8 billion gallons of bottled water, for a per capita consumption level of 23.8 gallons. That’s an 8.6 percent increase over the previous year.

People are turning away from tap water, which for more than two-thirds of Americans contains all of the fluoride they need to prevent tooth decay — and most bottled waters don’t have enough fluoride, the story reported.

Test your

osteoporosis IQ

Choose true or false for each statement:

1. Only women have to worry about osteoporosis.

2. Getting enough calcium when you’re young can lead to stronger bones as you get older.

3. You can usually tell when osteoporosis starts to develop.

Here are the answers:

1. False. Although women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, they are not alone. An estimated 2 million American men have osteoporosis.

2. True. It’s important to get enough calcium throughout our lives, but getting adequate amounts of calcium in our teens and 20s — when our bone mass is actively developing — can help us as we get older.

3. False. There are tests that can measure bone density; however, most people do not know they have osteoporosis until they fall and break a bone.

False security?

To coincide with the 70th anniversary of Social Security, AARP recently released a new survey that found public confidence in Social Security increased in recent years. It also found that Social Security has surpassed pensions and savings as the top source of income Americans expect to rely on in retirement.