Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aging Institute Reveals 2010 Trends

"Our older adult population continues to expand as each year passes, so more focus is being placed on ways to live a longer, healthier life," said Linda Hollinger Smith, PhD., Vice President, Mather LifeWays Institute On Aging "Progress on extending human life, either through genetic research or living a healthier lifestyle, will be one the top trends older Americans will witness next year."

Hollinger-Smith said that in 2010, not only will there be more Americans over the age of 65, but the number of those 85 and older will increase as well. "A decade ago, reaching the age of 85 was considered very old. Now it's more the norm. Next year, 14.4 percent of the age 65+ population -- 5.7 million individuals -- will be over age 85," explained Hollinger-Smith.

Among the top 2010 trends identified by MLIA are:

1. Scientific breakthroughs will demonstrate that healthy lifestyles can actually repair DNA by boosting a key enzyme, telomerase, that is vital for improving the body's immune responses and may even increase longevity.

2. The movement to age at home or more homelike environments for older adults living in long-term care communities will grow. Programs will provide care, support individuality, and promote safety in residential environments.

3. Improvements in health care will lead to ever slowing rates of aging, increasing the number of adults who will reach the age of 100.

4. There will be an increased focus on positivity and its impact on happiness, health and longevity for older adults.
5. More emphasis will be placed on individual patient care through hi-tech advances in development of uniform electronic medical records. Doctors & health care professionals will be in a better position to understand treatment options resulting in significant improved care.*

6. The use of technology among older adults will grow exponentially - whether this means surfing the Internet, joining social networks such as Facebook, or using technologic devices in the home to monitor their health as well as promote independence and safety.

7. Progress on extending human life will be a growing focus of researchers, as we learn more about how substances in our foods - such as resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes and in several other plants - may protect us from some life-shortening diseases such as diabetes.

8. Older adults will play an increasingly important role in "helping the Earth age well", by working in green jobs, volunteering, gardening, and teaching others about how to help the environment.

9. Significant advanced in treatments for diseases including cancer will occur through genetic research efforts that are preventing DNA mutations.

10. Greater numbers of older adults will use the Internet to learn about their health. Health professionals will need to incorporate web-based health resources into their patients' visits to assure that accurate websites are being sought out.

11. Senior living residences will also make "healthy living" a priority as future prospects will be looking towards a variety of programs and amenities that support wellness lifestyles at home and at residences.

"The ability to live a longer, healthier life will depend on the right combination of lifestyle choices, technology advances and medical breakthroughs," concluded Hollinger-Smith. "It's something we call Aging Well, and the chances of that happening will continue to expand in 2010 and beyond.
Reprinted by permission of: Stuart Greenblatt, Mather LifeWays, (847) 492.7434

Where are you,your family member going to live as they age?

Dr. Fix-It Can Help
• Most people want to age and stay in their own home for as long as possible
• They feel more comfortable, safe, and secure at “HOME SWEET, HOME
• Dr. Fix-It offers services and products that allow independent living
• Design build and universal design environments for baby boomers
• Creative & cost effective solutions to improve quality of life for existing older clients living at home
• Staying at home clients receive community based care with doctors and providers who know their history and needs
• One of our primary goals is to enable your clients to avoid the high cost of institutional placement
• DR. FIX-IT in conjunction with your financial plan and health care providers can facilitate clients living, enjoying, and staying at home

* Edits from Bob Bakst 781-598-5437

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