Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

The Future of the Aging Society: Burden or Human Capital?

(Please note that this is my per­son­al take at the dis­cus­sions that took place in Dubai as part of the Glob­al Agen­da Coun­cil on the Chal­lenges of Geron­tol­ogy put togeth­er by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, and builds on the work of my col­leagues, but it does not rep­re­sent a for­mal doc­u­ment or state­ment of posi­tion. Sim­ply put, we would like to engage your brain in defin­ing the chal­lenges and outlining/ exe­cut­ing the solu­tions).

Con­text: The Chal­lenges of the Aging Soci­ety

The world is aging. This is occur­ring in two ways: through shifts in the age struc­ture that will even­tu­al­ly lead to many more peo­ple reach­ing old­er ages than ever before, and through con­tin­ued suc­cess in extend­ing life. Less than 100 years ago, life expectan­cy was between 30 to 40 years. Today, close to 800 mil­lion cit­i­zens are 60 and over.

And aging in health­i­er ways. Aging has incor­rect­ly been asso­ci­at­ed with decline and decay, when in fact many peo­ple live healthy into old­er ages. There has been a syn­chro­nous exten­sion in life expectan­cy and qual­i­ty of life — the aver­age 65-year-old today is much health­i­er, phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly, than the aver­age 50-year-old of 100–150 years ago — when most exist­ing insti­tu­tions were envi­sioned and cre­at­ed.

Healthy life can be fur­ther extend­ed with exist­ing knowl­edge. The fact is the onset and pro­gres­sion of fatal and dis­abling dis­eases, dis­or­ders, and dis­abil­i­ty can be post­poned using well-researched basic mea­sures of pub­lic health, envi­ron­men­tal and behav­iour­al changes, and med­ical tech­nol­o­gy inter­ven­tions. The same meth­ods may be used to improve or main­tain men­tal and phys­i­cal func­tion­ing.

Our health­care and retire­ment sys­tems are on bank­rupt­cy track — their premis­es are out­dat­ed. Exist­ing insti­tu­tions, poli­cies and atti­tudes do not reflect the points out­lined above, hav­ing been devel­oped for a soci­ety that no longer exists. We need to get on the right track: Read the rest of this entry »

Access all Recordings Now

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.