In just over a decade, aging in America will look completely different than it does today. While there’s no way to predict the future, we can guess that these 10 trends will have some influence on the aging landscape of 2023. Which statement is true about the factors affecting physical fitness? Let’s take a look at them now so you can either prepare or laugh and say “No way!”

1. Baby Boomers Will Continue to Retire at an Accelerated Rate.

Baby Boomers are the largest generation in American history, and they’re starting to retire en masse. The oldest Boomers—those born between 1945 and 1950—will turn 70 in 2023. By the time their youngest counterparts, those born between 1980 and 1984 turn 30, the majority of Boomers will be over 65.

According to World Population Review , there were 76 million Baby Boomers entering retirement this year, making up roughly a third of all retirees. In 2023, there will be 91 million Baby Boomers over 65 years old.

2. The Percentage of Elderly Adults Will Rise.

About half of all people over 65 will be between 65 and 69 by 2023, according to the CIA World Factbook  (see below). By 2040, that number jumps to 70%. As the Baby Boomers retire and the population ages on average, there’ll be more seniors than ever in America.

3. Caring for an Aging Parent Will Be a Top Priority for Millennials.

While it may not be as extreme as other things on this list (such as radiation therapy), caring for a parent over the age of 65 is a big concern for younger generations. Again, most of the Baby Boomers will be over 65 in 2023, and the number of elderly adults will be increasing even more rapidly than the overall growth of population.

According to the US Census Bureau , roughly a third of American children are likely to take care of their aging parents. By 2023, that number will be closer to 40%.

4. Isolation Will Continue to Be an Issue for Aging Americans.

As the Baby Boomers age, elder isolation could become an even bigger problem for seniors than it is today. However, this problem isn’t limited just to seniors—it affects younger generations too.

According to the Pew Research Center , in 2013, 42% of all Americans lived alone. In 2030, that number is expected to rise to 45%. The number of older Americans living alone will also increase during this time period, with the percentage rising from 9% in 2013 to 15% ten years later.

5. Elder Abuse and Neglect Will Increase.

With a rapidly increasing elderly population and an emerging younger generation less likely to take on the role of caregiver for their aging parents, elder abuse and neglect will continue to rise over the next decade. Not only will more seniors be unable to properly care for themselves, but their adult children may not be able to prioritize them as much as they might once have been able to do.

6. More Seniors Will Be Living with Chronic Diseases.

The Baby Boomers are entering their senior years with a range of chronic diseases including arthritis, cancer, dementia and heart disease—and those conditions are unlikely to go away any time soon. This generation is already beginning to suffer from the effects of the aging process in ways that previous generations did not have to face at the same age. In fact, many seniors are actually healthier today than they were when they were in their 50s, 60s and 70s—but this only delays the inevitable decline that comes with old age and doesn’t slow it down.

7. Family Caregivers Will Thank Their Lucky Stars for Technology (and Medical Innovations).

As more and more Baby Boomers enter their golden years, the need for caregiving services will go up. Non-professionals will be taking on the mantles of caregivers, doing all they can to care for their aging parents as health problems arise. Although technology like Skype and FaceTime can bridge the gap for older parents who are unable to travel and live far away from their children and grandchildren, it doesn’t replace home visits or allow seniors to spend time with their loved ones.

The number of Americans over 65 will increase by nearly two-thirds in just over a decade, while the number of those 85 and older is expected to triple. As a result, medical breakthroughs and innovations are a necessity to keep our aging population both healthy and happy. Among the most promising of these is medical marijuana.

8. Medical Marijuana Will Be Widely Accepted as a Treatment for Seniors.

While seniors in 2014 may have been put off by the idea of using medical marijuana to treat their ailments, by 2023 attitudes will have changed dramatically. With Baby Boomers having turned 65, there’ll be an even greater need for elder care in general—and more seniors will be searching for ways to relieve chronic pain, insomnia and depression naturally and affordably.

Today’s seniors may be skeptical about using medical cannabis to help them deal with the day-to-day rigors of old age, but by 2023, many of them will have at least tried it. They’ll also know that cannabis isn’t only helpful in treating their ailments but is also an effective alternative to many prescription medications.

9. Aged Care Homes Will Be Full of Medical Marijuana Users.

Even though more seniors will begin using medical marijuana to treat a variety of chronic conditions, it’s unlikely most will use it on a regular basis. After all, if they did so, they would be breaking the law.

Although medical marijuana is legal in some states, it’s still illegal across the board at the federal level. This means individuals who use cannabis to treat their ailments could be in trouble if caught by authorities. Seniors need to be aware of this—and should use their medication wisely and discreetly.

10. The Epidemic of Senior Substance Abuse Will Continue to Rise (Affecting More Generations).

As Baby Boomers retire, there will be a growing number of seniors who struggle with substance abuse disorders . While many seniors will turn to alcohol and prescription drugs to deal with their adjustment difficulties, others will turn to opioids despite government warnings against doing so.


Despite all the challenges that aging will bring in the coming decade, there are many benefits to being an older American. And while researchers may search throughout history for examples of generational differences, this one may be more pronounced—and more negative—than any ever before.

It’s also important to remember that even though there will be a growing number of older Americans, not every single one of them will face these difficulties. In fact, by 2023 fewer than one in 10 seniors will complain about their age and “ageism” . Elder care services may get even more difficult as Baby Boomers enter their golden years and their adult children struggle to figure out how to properly care for them.


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