Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Laura Carstensen on Aging Happily

Laura Carstensen (from Atul Gawande's Chapter 4):

People are living longer and societies are getting grayer. You hear about it all the time. You read about it in your newspapers. You hear about it on your television sets. Sometimes I'm concerned that we hear about it so much that we've come to accept longer lives with a kind of a complacency, even ease. But make no mistake, longer lives can and, I believe, willimprove quality of life at all ages.
Now to put this in perspective, let me just zoom out for a minute. More years were added to average life expectancy in the 20th century than all years added across all prior millennia of human evolution combined. In the blink of an eye, we nearly doubled the length of time that we're living. So if you ever feel like you don't have this aging thing quite pegged, don't kick yourself. It's brand new.
And because fertility rates fell across that very same period that life expectancy was going up, that pyramid that has always represented the distribution of age in the population, with many young ones at the bottom winnowed to a tiny peak of older people who make it and survive to old age is being reshaped into a rectangle... (continues)



  1. Older people definitely appear much happier than younger people. It's because young people are still going through the trials and tribulations of life and when you are old, you retire from such a life and find a life of ease and happiness

  2. https://youtu.be/hMBe88yhCKc
    People can still lead entertaining lives after they grow older. I know this isn't a realistic depiction of the average elderly person's lifestyle, but nonetheless I was reminded of it.