Age Is Just a Number: Mental and Physical Health in the 21th Century

Science and technology have done their homework and calculations. Human beings have the ability to solve so many problems, and ‘age’ in our era is just a number. But we have to use the knowledge wisely and take the utmost advantage of it.

After the success of Human Genome Project and other scientific breakthroughs like transplanting organs from pigs, it seems that there are no boundaries in science and technology in terms of improving the physical health of humans. On the other hand, the mental health, psychology, and other social sciences have raised their level of methodological and theoretical frameworks, sometimes surpassing the physical sciences. Nowadays a 60-year-old yiayia is not the same as her own in 1950’s working in the rural Greek fields, yet there is still room for improvement.

There is a Roman saying: ‘senectus ipsa est morbus’ (old age itself is a disease), which is true after a certain age. But which age is that? There are many genetic, lifestyle, and other factors which can prolong the ‘natural lifespan’.

It should be noted that physical health is affected by ‘bad temptations’ and lifestyle.

Sedentary life, stress, and bad nutrition are some of the things that are to blame for old age problems. From the physical standpoint, changing nutrition and working out prolong your life.

Of course, knowledge about age-related diseases is rapidly changing. Mental and physical ability are interconnected and on a biological level, the aging process is impacted by molecular and cellular damage over time.

By 2030, one in six people will be aged 60 years or over. By 2050, being over 80 will not be something unusual. Common health conditions like hearing loss, cataracts, back and neck pain and osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, depression, and dementia will have better solutions, supporting a better quality of life.

All countries will face challenges to ensure the health care system meets the needs generated by this demographic shift, but physical and social environments seem to play a huge role and affect health directly. Beyond biological changes, the aging process is often associated with retirement, relocation to more appropriate housing, but also the death of friends and partners.

Having a good quality of life has a great value after a certain age. And remember: the choices we make in our lives today are leading indicators of how we will age.

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.




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