10 of the biggest transformations changing the future of aging care:
- Home care: a wave of new solutions making it easier for people to stay in their home longer and enabling home care delivery.
- Virtual health: from telehealth to remote monitoring, the digital health revolution is making care anywhere possible. Not only at home, but on the go, persistently.
- Consumerism: the empowered patient and skyrocketing consumer demand for information, access, and control is changing the market.
- Price transparency: the ability to understand and shop around for pricing is changing the power dynamic of healthcare at all levels.
- Data liberation: interoperability and connectivity layers are changing how providers, family, and caregivers interact.
- Caregiver platforms: marketplaces are empowering patients, families and caregivers to create better care, accountability and reduce costs.
- Design: an emphasis on personalized design and usability for all is simplifying and leaping aging care forward in elegant ways.
- Vitality: a focus on wellness and lifestyle is shifting the focus of health from just treatment to prevention and living well.
- Longevity: an understanding that we are living longer, healthier lives. 90 is the new 65.
- Market focus: Once a neglected area of innovation, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors are passionately rethinking the entire aging care market. And this will have profound implications for generations to come…
25th International Day of Older Persons: Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment
The 2015 celebration of the 25th anniversary of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP), in anticipation of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to be held in 2016, will focus not only on the impact of the new urban environment on older persons, but also the impact of older persons on the new urban environment.
For more information visit United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
At middle age, the brain begins to draw on more of its capacity for improved judgment and decision making.
If you forget a name or two, take longer to finish the crossword, or find it hard to manage two tasks at once, you’re not on the road to dementia. What you’re experiencing is your brain changing the way it works as you get older. And in many ways it’s actually working better. Studies have shown that older people have better judgment, are better at making rational decisions, and are better able to screen out negativity than their juniors are.
Although it may take you a little longer to get to the solution, you’re probably better at inductive and spatial reasoning at middle age than you were in your youth.
The older brain at work
How is it possible for older people to function better even as their brains slow? “The brain begins to compensate by using more of itself,” explains Dr. Bruce Yankner, professor of genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard Medical School. He notes that MRIs taken of a teenager working through a problem show a lot of activity on one side of the prefrontal cortex, the region we use for conscious reasoning. In middle age, the other side of the brain begins to pitch in a little. In seniors, both sides of the brain share the task equally.
The cooperative effort has a payoff. “Several studies suggest that seniors who can activate both sides of the brain actually do better on tasks, while those who can’t do worse,” Dr. Yankner says.
Dignity in aging is a human rights issue. Without social programs such as Social Security, Medicare, SSI, and local services, many seniors would be living in cardboard boxes just like at the turn of the 20th century. The aging and aged have paid their dues to society and it is our job as a society to make sure that they live in dignity.
A look back at LIFE’s four-part series on the plight of the elderly in 1959, for which a photographer was dispatched to take what one editor called ‘horror pictures’
When LIFE set out to do a four-part series on aging in America in 1959, the magazine’s agenda was abundantly clear. “The problem of old age,” the introduction read, “has never been so vast or the solutions so inadequate.” There were five times as many elderly Americans as there had been at the turn of the century, and 60 percent of them had an annual income of less than $1,000. Medicare was still two presidents away, and people who couldn’t live with their families or on their own were often sent to state institutions where, the story read, they “lie in bed or sit beside it, imprisoned by helplessness, waiting to die, yet clinging to lives of crushing emptiness.”
These photographs are amazing. I hope when I am in my 80s or 90s, I have the same dignity and beauty as these women.
“Even with all the rush and fast pace of New York City, many elderly women manage to keep up with their lives in their own rhythm and grace,” photographer Patricia Monteiro begins in a statement on her website. “‘Life Ever After’ documents a community of women that live alone after losing companions, relatives or friends. To look at them is also to look at the beauty of life, that definitely does not end when you reach your 80s.”