Aging

Children born today in the United States can expect to live nearly 78 years. That life expectancy is a great leap forward from 1900, when the average newborn couldn’t expect to reach age 50. Similar increases have been seen in in developed nations all around the world. In the 20th century, life expectancy increased more than it had in any century since the beginning of human civilization.

Life expectancy at various ages in teh United States

And the longer you live, the longer you can expect to live. Average life expectancy for a newborn American is 78 years, while it is 84 years for a 65-year-old and 87 years for a 75-year old.

But extending the lifespan has also increased the burden of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, macular degeneration, and other conditions that tend to affect older individuals. Most of these diseases, though, aren't inevitable consequences of aging. Instead, many are preventable.

Solid research from long-term studies such as the Framingham Heart Study, the Nurses' Health Study, and others have shown that the combination of not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar in check can prevent three-quarters or more of these chronic conditions.

Aging Articles

The healing power of art

Creative activities, particularly when undertaken with the direction of a trained art therapist, can relieve stress and aid communication in people with cancer, dementia, or depression. Doing arts and crafts can help arrest cognitive decline in healthy older people. (Locked) More »

Looking for early signs of Alzheimer’s

For a long time, memory loss was seen as the telltale sign of Alzheimer’s disease, but this is not necessarily the best way to identify the disease in its earliest stages. In fact, it is now believed that Alzheimer’s-related changes begin in the brain at least a decade before common symptoms emerge. The goal now is to find multiple markers and use a consolidated effort in hopes of diagnosing the disease as early as possible. More »

Reducing dietary salt may mean fewer nighttime bathroom trips

Men who battle with nocturia—waking up at night to urinate—may find relief by reducing the amount of salt in their diet. People who lowered their daily salt intake from 10.7 grams to 8 grams reduced their average nighttime frequency of urination by almost 50%—from 2.3 times to 1.4 times. More »

Choosing a senior living community

Choosing a senior living community for yourself or a loved one can feel overwhelming. There are many options for long-term care available, and it may be difficult to know what will best suit your needs. Doing some research is a good first step. And you'll need to arm yourself with a list of questions to ask senior living communities. Among the questions to ask senior living communities, one of the first should be about the level of care you or a loved one needs. The options boil down to three levels:  Safety and quality of care are also important to list among questions to asksenior living communities. There are many rules and regulations that retirement facilities must follow. A good way to check on nursing home safety and quality is by visiting www.medicare.gov.  More »

Should you still have mammograms after age 75?

Women ages 75 or older who are trying to decide whether to continue having screening mammograms should consider their life expectancy and their willingness to undergo treatment if breast cancer is detected. (Locked) More »

Blood pressure targets changing?

New guidelines recommend that for otherwise healthy adults ages 60 or older, high blood pressure treatment should begin when the systolic measurement is at or above 150 millimeters of mercury. More »