If there was a pill that one could take, in which this pill would enable an individual to live to be 200 years old, would you take it? I am fascinated by this question because I do believe that one day in the future, we as a society, will have to grapple with this question. I ask this question to my contemporaries ( 20’s and 30’s) as well as those younger and older than me. While my informal method of collecting this data is not even close to valid enough to be published in any credible journal, I do notice a trend. Typically, as one gets older, they are more likely to respond; no I would not opt to take this pill and would not want to live to be 200 years old.
I think my unscientific observation does indeed make sense. With age and even more so advanced old age, comes about a higher probability of experiencing age related changes. For example: sensory decline, cognitive slowing, loss of friends and family and impaired physical mobility to name a few. I fully understand why one would not want to live 100+ years in this perpetual state of decline. However, as a greater percentage of our population reaches older age, it is essential that we invest time and thought into how can enhance life in older age.
In the article copied below, the author reiterates the need for greater social and psychological programs for the elderly, which will add life to years. The author highlights some interesting ways to help us all be more psychologically fit.
- Find a small yet emotionally satisfying and comfortable group (Okinawa Japan calls these groups Moai’s) to express feelings, stories and experiences. These groups seem to enhance psychological well-being through social connections.
- Try and find meaning in one’s older age. Long-lived individuals have experienced and amassed great wisdom, experiences, triumph, loss and change. With this, take the time to review and reflect on your life. Writing an autobiography, sharing stories of the past to others or just internalizing old memories has proven to be psychologically beneficial.
To quote the author of this article, Alex Bishop, “The prospect of living 80, 90 or 100 years is no longer science fiction but a reality for millions of Americans. But what does it take to remain psychologically fit? There seem to be two essential elements: quality social connections and contemplation. It helps to be surrounded by good people, especially community members, aging-service providers and practitioners who genuinely and compassionately care about the emotional security and well-being of the oldest-old.”
As an aging service provider, Seacrest at Home and the Seacrest Village family, recognize the importance to be psychologically fit and continue to strive to be catalysts and facilitators for care to enhance psychological fitness.
Please feel free to read article below for more information!