AGING AMERICA: Live to 120? Most say no thanks – Businessweek

An increased lifespan is not necessarily ideal…

But with the field growing, Pew took the public’s pulse and found most Americans wouldn’t want a treatment that would let them live to 120. Fifty-six percent said no thanks — although two-thirds expect most other people would want to try such a step, said the report issued Tuesday.

via AGING AMERICA: Live to 120? Most say no thanks – Businessweek.


Fast Time and the Aging Mind –

Ageing and the feeling of time – becoming stuck in mindless habits create the illusion that time passes more quickly – mindfulness and engaging in new endeavours expand our feeling of time…

It’s simple: if you want time to slow down, become a student again. Learn something that requires sustained effort; do something novel. Put down the thriller when you’re sitting on the beach and break out a book on evolutionary theory or Spanish for beginners or a how-to book on something you’ve always wanted to do. Take a new route to work; vacation at an unknown spot. And take your sweet time about it.

via Fast Time and the Aging Mind –

New Article – Thresholds: Profound Moments in Life


[Exploring Life] The rhythm of our life is defined by the thresholds of experience that open up along our pathway through time. Thresholds are points of no return; they form passageways between what once was, and what now will be. We all experience life-changing events that unexpectedly alter our trajectory through time. These profound moments in life usually appear unexpectedly, and they always serve to place us in the midst of a new frontier, a terrain that is both unfamiliar and strange to our sensibilities…

Read more via Thresholds: Profound Moments in Life.

The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.) –

A wonderful essay from Oliver Sacks on the approach of his 80th birthday…

My father, who lived to 94, often said that the 80s had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’, too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and busts, revolutions and wars, great achievements and deep ambiguities, too. One has seen grand theories rise, only to be toppled by stubborn facts. One is more conscious of transience and, perhaps, of beauty. At 80, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was 40 or 60. I do not think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together.

I am looking forward to being 80.

via The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.) –

The island of long life | World news | The Guardian

The ethnography of longevity might be an interesting pursuit…

Gregoris Tsahas has smoked a packet of cigarettes every day for 70 years. High up in the hills of Ikaria, in his favourite cafe, he draws on what must be around his half-millionth fag. I tell him smoking is bad for the health and he gives me an indulgent smile, which suggests he’s heard the line before. He’s 100 years old and, aside from appendicitis, has never known a day of illness in his life.

via The island of long life | World news | The Guardian. – Older women in China fare worse than men

Adult women fared worse than men both in self-reported measures and actual health. Most strikingly, 47 percent of women 60 and older reported high levels of depressive symptoms, such as restless sleep and feelings of fear.

via – Older women in China fare worse than men.

‘Successful aging’ protects health and wealth – Elizabeth O’Brien’s Retire Well – MarketWatch

More on “successful aging”…

Some argue that as a society, we focus too much on physical health in our definition of successful aging. We lionize the person living alone at 95, and while that’s certainly laudatory, we could also celebrate those who remain connected to their communities despite their infirmities, or those who have saved enough to afford whatever care is needed. “Dependency doesn’t necessarily mean lack of success,” said Russell Woodruff, assistant professor of philosophy at St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, N.Y. who teaches a course on the philosophy of aging.

Bottom line? When it comes to healthy aging, let’s control what we can and try not to worry too much about the rest. “Once you get to a certain point,” Almeida said, “biology just takes over.”

via ‘Successful aging’ protects health and wealth – Elizabeth O’Brien’s Retire Well – MarketWatch.