Life at 150

October 14, 2013

I just read an interesting article that scared the hell out of me. In essence, it said that many scientists now believe that we could live to 150 years.

To be perfectly honest, I never expected to live this long. Occasionally, I would look down at my body and wonder how long I will inhabit it. And even more important, I wonder how long I’ll be mentally productive.

There is so much about extending our life span that sets my teeth on edge. Alzheimer research is conducting studies to find out how it starts, who the likely candidates will be, what role genetics plays in it, etc., but unless they find a cure for it before we live to the ripe old age of 150, we’re going to find ourselves in a society that can’t take care of itself and could be a danger to those around us.

I’ve also been reading articles about old people not having to worry about reaching a point where they can’t make good decisions. Many scientists are saying that we have the capacity to function mentally for all our thinking needs as we get older, no matter how old we get.

Have they seen some of these old people trying to use their thinking skills and making good decisions based on their thinking skills the older they get?

When you’re not feeling well, the likelihood is that your mind will be fuzzy. I see this happening with men and women who are middle-aged and having health problems. The truth is that you don’t function at your highest level when you don’t feel well.

Now, take into account that many diseases start in old age, e.g., diabetes, and the thought that someone in their fifties or sixties first having to worry about diet and insulin shots for another ninety years when they have never had to deal with major health issues, suddenly makes the desire to live that long very unattractive.

It isn’t unrealistic to surmise that life expectancy will keep increasing but, instead of scientists focusing on extending our years, I’d like to see them focus on curing the diseases we already have. Being sick and living longer will have its own set of problems, e.g., depression and poverty, being two of the most difficult issues to deal with.

Until we have the answers to our current geriatric problems, we shouldn’t be thinking about how many more years we can extend life.

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