For decades to come need and demand will increase faster than the resources available. Society will need to maximise value from the resources it allocates for public services including healthcare and to do this ten questions need to be addressed
There is a negative, over pessimistic view of old age and older people. This derives partly from a failure to understand how many of the problems of old age are preventable and are not due to the ageing process. Poverty, for example, leads many people to withdraw from society but it is not a consequence of ageing. It is a consequence of social inequality and injustice. Some individuals can retain a positive attitude in the face of the these negative pressures but this requires resilience and a definitely decision to think positively about one’s position, capabilities and potential.
For most people, old age is feared because it is associated with disability and disease, and it is true that the prevalence of disease increases decade by decade. However, the ageing process is not the principal cause of disabling disease, and many of the disabling diseases of old age are preventable.
The Actual Rate of Decline is faster than the Best Possible Rate of Decline, that is the rate of decline due solely to the ageing process and the difference between the two is the Fitness Gap. Both the point at which physical decline starts, and the rate at which it proceeds is for the first few decades determined by loss of fitness, and loss of fitness is determined by social factors, namely by the decisions people make about their life and the pressures which influence them decreases
There are only two phases of life, the phase of growth and development and the phase of ageing and functional decline which is at present untreatable but there is great interest, and considerable investment, in the search for what would have been called an Elixir of Life but is now called Regenerative Medicine