Archive - November, 2013

Living to 120 & beyond

If new medical treatments could slow the ageing process and allow people to live decades longer, to at least 120 years old, would you want to have the treatments? A survey done recently by the Pew Research Center, a US non-partisan fact tank, finds that most Americans (56 percent) say “no” – they, personally, would not want treatments to enable dramatically longer lives. But roughly two-thirds (68 percent) think that most other people would choose to live to 120 and beyond.

The survey explores the public’s attitudes toward ageing, medical advances and what some biomedical researchers call “radical life extension” – the possibility that scientific breakthroughs someday could allow people to live much longer than is possible today. Overall, more Americans think dramatically longer lifespans would be bad (51 percent) than good (41 percent) for society.

Asked how long they ideally would like to live, more than two-thirds of US adults (69 percent) cite an age between 79 and 100. The median desired lifespan of survey respondents is 90 years – about 11 years longer than the current average US life expectancy, which is 78.7 years. Just nine percent of Americans say they want to live more than 100 years.

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Technology a hindrance in ageing at home

Philips and the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in the US released a survey recently that found both baby boomers and Generation X (Gen X and those born from 1965 to 1976) place high value on technology as they age. However, 95 percent believe today’s technology needs to be better developed to help them successfully age at home, or age-in-place, for as long as possible.

While 73 percent of boomers and Gen X surveyed want to age in their own home, they believe they will have significant barriers to achieving this through the aid of technology, such as access and adoption, cost, privacy, complexity of use, product integration, and public policy.

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