Drexel Designated as an Age-Friendly University
In November 2019, Drexel University officially became an Age-Friendly University
(AFU), the first institution in Philadelphia to join the Age-Friendly Global Network. An age-friendly university embodies 10 principles
, which together lay out how a college or university can prepare for the future and meet the needs of students, faculty and people of all ages. Drexel joins more than 60 institutions worldwide that have signed on to this exciting initiative.
Through engaging and building on the strengths of individuals as they age, faculty, staff, alumni, and students can transform Drexel into a place for lifelong learning. Drexel has the opportunity to reimagine its approach to teaching, scholarship and education and create an environment that disrupts ageism, embraces people of all ages, fosters intergenerational connectivity, and innovates through age-related research from the cellular to the societal levels.
Why it matters
- The aging of the US population means that by 2030, 20% of our population will be 65+, and older people will outnumber children for the first time in our history.
- We now live longer and with better health. This affords opportunities to prepare students to be life-long learners and provide individuals with educational opportunities across their life course.
- Involving more age-diverse students creates intergenerational classrooms and provides richer learning experiences for students of all ages.
- Our alumni are working longer, searching for encore careers, and seeking opportunities to fill skills gaps so they can rejoin or stay in a rapidly changing work force.
Age-Friendly in Action
Drexel University’s Age-Friendly efforts already include:
- The AgeWell Collaboratory (and its Student Network), the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ center without walls, led by Dr. Laura N. Gitlin, to promote healthy aging in partnership with >70 community-based organizations and interprofessional approaches to research, education and practice;
- The Cell2Society Research Network, a Drexel Area of Research Excellence Grant, led by Dr. DiMaria-Ghalili in collaboration with 42 researchers across the University;
- The Goodwin College of Professional Studies’ AgeWell Academy for older adults and professionals in the aging network;
- The University Advisory Committee on Access, evaluating online and built environment accessibility;
- The Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, programs focusing on older adults in West Philadelphia;
- Aging-related International Courses Abroad & Co-ops;
- ....And more
|Percent of Undergraduate Students over 50 years old
| United States: 4%
|Percent of Graduate Students over 50 years old**
| United States: 7%
|| Drexel: 5%
|Drexel Faculty, Staff & Alumni at a Glance
Percent over 50 years old**
| Faculty: 54%
| Staff: 36%
| Alumni: 40%
The Baby Boom generation (born between 1944 and 1964) is expected to transfer $30 trillion in wealth during the next three decades.
- The average age of a Drexel major donor is 67.
Opportunities in a Super Aging Society By the Numbers
We are living in an increasingly older and diverse world, country, state and city. This unprecedented demographic phenomenon will generate a wide range of critical educational and research needs as well as the reorganization of healthcare and community-based services.
- By 2050, one in six people worldwide will be aged 65 years or over.
Opportunities in a Super Aging Society By the Numbers We are living in an increasingly older and diverse world, country, state and city. This unprecedented demographic phenomenon will generate a wide range of critical educational and research needs as well as the reorganization of healthcare and community-based services.
- Today there are more than 703 million persons 65+ worldwide, a number that will double to 1.5 billion in 2050.
- By 2030, people 65+ will reach 77 million, more than 20% of the US population.
- Between now and 2060, people 85+ in the US will more than triple from 6 million to 20 million.
- Life expectancy in the US is 81 for women and 76 for men.5• Life expectancy in the US for Whites is 78, for Blacks 73, for Hispanics 81, for Asian Americans 87.
- By 2025, one in five Pennsylvanians will be 65+ by 2025.7• Philadelphia’s 65+ population is powerfully diverse: 55% are people of color and/or foreign born.
Older people are active consumers and a vital part of the workforce, but we need to ensure they stay engaged
- People 56 to 76 currently control roughly 70% of all disposable income in the US.
- Americans 55+ make up slightly less than a quarter of the nation’s labor force, but filled almost half (49%) of the 2.9 million jobs gained in 2018 — the biggest share of any age group.
Older people are increasingly tech savvy.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 people (88%) 50-64 are online. Almost ¾ (73%) of people age 65 and older are online.
Unfortunately, ageism prevents many older people from staying in the workforce.
- While funding for the National Institutes of Healthhas grown by 16.5% in real terms since 2013, theNational Institute on Aging has received extrabudgetary support in recent years.
- NIA’s budget has tripled to $3.08 billion since FY 2013.
Aging is an exciting, multi-disciplinary scientific field with billions of dollars of research opportunities.
- While funding for the National Institutes of Healthhas grown by 16.5% in real terms since 2013, the National Institute on Aging has received extra budgetary support in recent years.
- NIA’s tripled since 2013.
Older people have unique health care needs, and consume a large percentage of health care services.
- Just over one in five people 65+ rate their health as fair or poor.
- Leading causes of death for people 65+ are heart disease, cancer, lung and respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
- Medical care is estimated to account for only10-20 percent of what contributes to health.The other 80 to 90 percent are broadly called the social determinants of health, that is,health-related behaviors, socioeconomic concerns, and environmental factors.
Causes of death for people 65+
- Heart Disease