Category Archives: Longevity

How Long Can Humans Live? Seven Theories and a Quiz

You might think that you have heard everything there is to know about how long humans can live, but even in this overworked corner of human research, there is always something new.

Over the last few decades. we have watched in awe as longevity statistics have exploded. For people in industrialized countries, life expectancy, at the beginning of the 20th century, was between 30 and 45 years, rising steadily to about 67 years by the end of the century. Life expectancy continues to rise until now, people who live to age 100 or older are the fastest growing demographic. In the past, researchers have looked to improvements in health care, nutrition, and standard of living to explain why some people live significantly longer than others. Other researchers have redirected their attention to the habits of super-centenarians, or the detection of ‘blue zone’ areas of the world in which people live to an exceptional age. read more

Vibrant Health—Yours at Any Age!

The statistics are stunning. Current research on the impact of exercise on health, tracking 660,000 people from the United States and Sweden, and using 150 minutes of moderate walking per week as a guideline, says that participants, who were compared to people who didn’t exercise at all, had a 20% lower risk of dying during the follow-up period of up to 14 years.

A recent article in The American Journal of Medicine, reporting on the work of Dr. Harvey B. Simon, who analyzed several studies, says that even moderate physical activity of one hour a week pointed to lower rates of heart attack, stroke and death from all causes. read more

Aging in Place With ElliQ and Other Innovations

Scientists and researchers are working overtime to help older people age in place. And that’s a good thing—most of us do want to stay at home as long as we can.

One company pursuing this is K4Connect, a tech firm that serves older adults with disabilities. The CEO, Scott Moody has a dream, and it has a good chance of coming true.

Moody thinks in broad strokes. He believes that in five years home automation for older adults, still very complex, will connect us to the “Internet of Things” (IoT), allowing us to seamlessly access apps that will help us age in place. He envisions: read more

Yes, You Can Count on More than Losses as You Age

If I know anything for sure, as I become older, it’s that somewhere along the way, I will need to come to terms with the accumulation of my years, and the losses that come with it.

It must be the departure of summer that has nudged this part of me—the place where I’m acutely aware of the passage of time.

It’s another summer of living, and I’m grateful for that, of being able to savor each sunny day, of living fully into autumn, and then experiencing all of it again through my memories. read more

The Stunning Failure of the Contribution Pension Plan

Ask any Millennial what they’ll live on when they retire, and they’ll look at you with a blank stare. First off, they are young (oldest are 35), so age 65 seems a lifetime away. Secondly, most of them are occupied with just getting by, an outcome of living in the gig economy, in which saving is unlikely. And we (the Silent generation and older Boomers), were like that too—someone out there would look out for us, things would turn out. Furthermore, most of them are convinced that retirement with a pension is a thing of the past. read more

Why the Media’s Messages Matter to Old People

Old people get a raw deal in television and in the movies. We don’t make a fuss about this, because as we age, we become conditioned to the themes and images that flood the media, and bombard us with their messages. That’s just entertainment, we think—it’s not meant to depict real life.

But if we stop for a minute, and analyze the performances in front of us, we may become aware that there is rarely anyone in these presentations that vaguely resembles us.

If you wonder why this is important, researchers say that we are influenced by media, and respond to how it portrays us. Older characters don’t show up very much in the media we view, and when they do, they are shown in ageist or stereotypical roles, frequently ridiculed. read more

Does Social Media Help Old People Feel Less Lonely?

Remember when people speculated that social media would produce a population of isolates, working alone in a room, disconnected from the rest of humanity? And if lonely older people took up social media, they would become even more lonely and depressed? Well, speculate no more—older adults, just like the rest of humanity, have climbed aboard the social media band wagon, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, older people, once they try Skype, Facebook or other electronic platforms, become enthusiasts, accounting for a substantial jump in use in just ten years. read more

The Happiest People on the Planet

happiestIt appears that we older people are the happiest generation in history. Study after study says that we are. Our aging faces may not reflect this, but it’s true—we older people are considerably happier than younger people and certainly happier than people who are middle-aged. It seems that when it comes to the feel good chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins, we are practically junkies.

This is well documented.  Meg Selig, in a report for Psychology Today (2015) writes, read more