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Ageing Population… A Crisis or an Opportunity?

By Marcus Santer

There’s a good chance you’ve seen this picture if you’ve got a Facebook, Instagram or some other social media account:

medical-bill-bankruptcy

It certainly caught my attention.

So I did a bit of digging – because it’s claim is of great concern.

And I found this article on snopes.com:

643000 Bankruptcies in the US every year due to medical bills

Snopes is a great site that checks the facts behind things like this.

You should read the full article, but just in case you’re short on time, they summed the subject up with this:

“In short, using some very specific analyses, one could make the case that (at least within the last several years) about 643,000 Americans declared bankruptcy annually due to medical bills. But the accuracy of those analyses is open to question, the playing field has changed significantly since they were undertaken (due to the implementation of the ACA), and it’s far from an absolute that the other countries listed in the meme experience zero medical-related bankruptcies.”

Whilst the figures may be in doubt, there’s no doubt that – barring an accident – you’re going to live for longer.

Now whether that’s in good health or bad, who can say?

You can certainly stack the odds in your favour by embracing healthy lifestyle habits.

But how can I put this?

Shit still happens.

And anyone who guarantees you health and vitality should be treated with caution.

As I’ve written before:

Research shows during the first 75 years of your life your genes only have a 20 to 25 percent influence your longevity. The rest is heavily influenced by your lifestyle choices and environmental factors.. I.e stuff you can do something about and it’s what ZEN+ and the Healthy Ageing Pyramid are all about.

Butt…

By your mid 80’s your genes become more important and by the time you reach your 90’s, the biggest influence on how much longer you’re going to live happened the day your fathers sperm fertilised your mother’s egg. [1]

Now with more folk living longer it wasn’t a surprise for me to hear speakers on BBC Radio 4 talking about a looming ageing population crisis.

The chart below shows what’s happening

world-population-over-65

And what about the impact on:

There’s no denying the economic effects of an ageing population are going to be considerable..

So is this a crisis or opportunity[2]?

Time will tell.

But it seems to me the smart move is to do all you can to stack the odds of a stronger, healthier and illness free life in your favour.

Because putting the financial costs aside for one minute…

Being ill sucks.

Fortunately their are a number of lifestyle habits proven to help you stack the deck in your favour are known.

But the problem is they ain’t sexy and they keep getting drowned out and ignored in favour of the latest new-fangled celebrity endorsed BS.

Fortunately for you, time-tested, proven healthy lifestyle habits are what I write about each month in the ZEN+ Journal.

If you want to live and age well…

You should be a ZEN+ Journal reader.

Full details here.

Bye for now

Marcus

 

References used:

[1] Living to 100 and beyond http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/living-to-100-and-beyond-the-right-genes-plus-a-healthy-lifestyle-201201114092
[2] For an interesting view on how an ageing population isn’t a bad thing read this: http://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP63.pdf