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Medicine LibreTexts

15.7: Aging

  • Page ID
    13562
  • Every year we get one year older chronologically, does this mean we also get one year older biologically?  Our biological age is the age of our body and this is not dependent on our chronological age. You can be a 30 year old who is very healthy and has a biological age closer to 20 year old, or you can be a 30 year old who lives an unhealthy lifestyle and has a biological age closer to 40.  Our biological age is highly influenced by the lifestyle choices we make.

    The good news is that Americans are living longer lives, but the bad news is that the increase in our older population brings an increase in chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia.  It is estimated that 80% of older adults have a chronic health condition. With so many older adults having chronic health conditions we know there will continue to be an increased need for caregivers.  This creates a potential problem because although our older population is growing, or birth rates are declining which may reduce the amount of people to serve as caretakers.

    Aging Data

    • 10,000 people each day turn 65, this will continue through 2030

    • Between 2012 and 2050, the number of adults age 65 and older will nearly double in the US, reaching 84 million

      • By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be age 65 or older 

    • In 2033, the number of adults age 65 and older will outnumber people younger than 18 for the first time in the US

    • The number of people age 85 and older will roughly triple in the U.S. between 2012 and 2050 

    • By 2050, more than 18 million Americans will be age 85 or older 

    • By 2050, more than 439,000 Americans will be age 100 or older

    • 80% of older adults, aged 60 and older, have at least one chronic condition

    •  1 in 3 older adults 65+ have Activities of Daily Living (ADL) limitations (managing money, shopping, telephone use, travel in community, housekeeping, preparing meals, and taking medications correctly)

    Guiding Model for Healthy Aging

    The CDC recommends a three prong approach to healthy aging which includes:  

    1. Promote health, prevent injury, and manage chronic conditions

    2. Optimize physical, cognitive, and mental health

    3. Facilitate social engagement

    Challenges of Aging

    There are many challenges associated with aging.  Here is a list of common challenges.

    Advance Care Planning (ACP)

    Alzheimer’s disease

    Caregiving

    Arthritis

    Hearing loss

    Motor-vehicle safety

    Osteoporosis

    Vision loss

     

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