One of the most exciting goals I have in my work and daily thoughts is achieving a full life that has reasonable, if not, plentiful energy. The #aging trend has unfortunately been a physical decline leading to progressive disability and dependence. Successful aging is how we will create our personal adaptive competencies. How well we do this is defined by avoiding or delaying chronic diseases.
This is the challenge we all face in the 21st century. Approximately 90 million people suffer from chronic disease, and among the Medicare population (65 and older) nine out of ten deaths are associated with nine chronic illnesses. Those illnesses are congestive heart failure, chronic lung disease, cancer, coronary artery disease, diabetes, chronic liver disease, and dementia.
Patients with chronic illness in their last two years of life account for about 32 percent of total Medicare spending, with much of it going toward physician and hospital fees (Medicare Part A and Part B) associated with repeated hospitalizations. This is an unsustainable model and we have an obligation to ourselves and the generations that follow us to create a better game plan. Succumbing to a slow spiral of dependency, becoming a burden on society is not what anyone desires.
The number of Americans 65 and older today is approximately 43 million. By 2050 that number could be 108 million. Creating a new paradigm where no citizen is marginalized, where ageism is nonexistent will take incremental change. It all comes down to daily behavior and choices. Deciding to live better is the way to gain better odds. Here are some tips: