Joe Schlesinger: The problem with growing old, as a society I mean
Scientists continuously tell us that we are going to live longer than any generation in human history. And that our children and succeeding generations will enjoy even longer lives, much longer.
Sounds great. But there are pitfalls on the road to longevity, and we had better be aware of them before they trip us up.
First the good news: The average life expectancy of Canadians has risen from 60 in the 1920s to 80 today.
By the end of this century, according to a UN study on world population trends, Canadians will live to age 88 on average, and to 92 by 2150. Those born in the year 2300 are likely to live long enough to celebrate New Year's Day 2400.
So we humans are going to have to get used to two terms that have lain dormant in dictionaries: "nonagenarian," for people in their nineties, and "centenarian," for those over 100.
This dramatic extension of life expectancy is due to the great array of implants, transplants, pills, shots and treatments that have come out of research labs and hospitals.
I am a beneficiary of these medical advances. I'm an octogenarian who owes his life and relative good health to a bunch of pills I take that didn't exist just a few decades ago.
And more advances are coming. A series of intriguing reports on The National recently entitled "Chasing Cures" took a look at the marvels that are in the works to keep us living longer.
To read the full story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/01/16/f-vp-schlesinger-aging.html?cmp=googleeditorspick