When a steamroller is coming down the road, you have three choices: Get out of the way, run to
stay ahead of it, or lie down and get your clothes pressed.
The steamroller is age — old age — and it will remake our society in the first half of the 21st
century. Everything from census numbers to personal experiences underscores the aging of our
state and nation. The Coming of Age explores Arizona’s capacity to handle this soon-to-be
“gerontocracy” in positive ways.
Aging affects all dimensions of our society, but none so much as health care. Thus, St. Luke’s
Health Initiatives (SLHI) decided to dedicate part of its Arizona Health Futures program to
exploring Arizona’s capacity to meet the health care demands of an aging population. SLHI asked
the Arizona State University School of Public Affairs and Morrison Institute for Public Policy to
collaborate on The Coming of Age to inform Arizona’s policy leaders and residents about these
The Coming of Age engaged demographers, economists, public policy analysts, human service
and medical professionals and citizens. Through its research, the team developed a realistic
picture of Arizona’s “capacity to care” for an elder population. The results of the research are
presented in The Coming of Age: Aging, Health and Arizona’s Capacity to Care.
This publication offers possible futures that are based on the research. (See http://slhi.org/ or
https://morrisoninstitute.asu.edu/.) Other project products, available on these web sites, include team
members’ technical papers, an interdisciplinary reference guide and results of the project’s
public opinion research.
We hope that Four Scenarios of Arizona’s Future and The Coming of Age report spark discussion
among family members and in businesses and organizations as well as city halls and the legislature.