As the World Turns
The growing group of elderly are people that also have rights. Students will try to imagine themselves as elderly, looking back on their lives.
Explorations and Discussions: How Old is Old?
Read the paragraph about the Gray Panthers in United States pages 632-633.
Average life span and live expectancy in the United States have grown dramatically in this century, from about 47 years in 1900 to 70-some years today. This advance is mostly due to improvements in sanitation, the discovery of antibiotics, and medical care. Now, as scientists make headway against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, some think it can be extended even further.
Have students make a timeline of their lives.
What income do people have when they retire? (Retirement funds and social security)
Today, a 70 year-old widowed woman collects about $350 to $500 a month from social security to live on. Discuss how far this amount of money might go. (Tithe, rent or taxes on property, electricity, water, telephone, car upkeep, food, clothes, medications, offerings, etc.)
See United States page 626, second paragraph, to see what President Johnson started to help retired people with health care. (Help students to see how retirees would depend on Medicare.)
Can you imagine yourself as being 70 years old?
How would you want to be treated at the age of 70?
What does the Bible say about older people?
Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in his old age. Read his first eleven verses (Ecclesiastes 1:1 - 11).
Have students write on their timelines three things they think they might be able to do (or wish to do) to make the world a better place in their lifetimes.
(Optional: Have students write what they would wish to have written on their tombstones.)