12/15/2012 – Without Babies, Can Japan Survive?

Faced with an aging society, a depopulating countryside and economic stagnation, Japan has struggled for decades to address its challenges.

Nowhere is the rapid aging of Japan more visible than in rural towns like Nanmoku, where 56 percent of local residents are over 65. Over the next 25 years, the proportion of Japan’s population that is elderly will rise from almost one in four to one in three.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/14/2012 – New Burden of Disease study shows world’s people living longer but with more disability

The health of most of the planet’s population is rapidly coming to resemble that of the United States, where death in childhood is rare, too much food is a bigger problem than too little, and life is long and often darkened by disability.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

12/14/2012 – Life Expectancy Rises Around the World, Study Finds

A sharp decline in deaths from malnutrition and infectious diseases like measles and tuberculosis has caused a shift in global mortality patterns over the past 20 years, according to a report published on Thursday, with far more of the world’s population now living into old age and dying from diseases mostly associated with rich countries, like cancer and heart disease.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/12/2012 – Old Age and Creativity in Art and Science

One of the most widespread and persistent myths about creativity is that it is the domain of the young. So for example in surveying popular attitudes toward aging, the psychologist Dean Simonton observed that “Most conspicuous is the notion that creativity is the prerogative of youth, that aging is synonymous with a decrement in the capacity for generating and accepting innovations.”

Read the full article at Huffington Post.

12/12/2012 – Preventing a tragedy for seniors at the wheel

“When my dad’s driving deteriorated, I called the California Department of Motor Vehicles and asked about the procedure for having his license revoked. I could fill out a form, I was told, and my dad would be called in to have his driving ability reevaluated.”

Read the full article at The Los Angeles Times.

12/10/2012 – Frailty is a medical condition, not an inevitable result of aging

It’s called frailty. There have always been frail people, but only in recent years has the term “frailty” become a medical diagnosis, defined by specific symptoms and increasingly focused on by those who deal with the medical issues of the elderly. Clinicians now are looking at ways to prevent or delay frailty, sometimes even reverse it.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

12/10/2012 – Obesity in Young Is Seen as Falling in Several Cities

After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several American cities are reporting their first declines.

The trend has emerged in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Neb. The state of Mississippi has also registered a drop, but only among white students.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/10/2012 – Training Needed for Home Care Is Lacking

“H” from Chicago, I heard you when you joined a lively discussion over hospice at home here a couple of weeks ago and asked, “where can family members get the training to do all the nursing tasks?”

In the comments section, many readers wrote in to say that caring for relatives at the end of their lives was a duty and a privilege. Others said they were unprepared for the physical and emotional burdens of doing so.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/7/2012 – Why The Falling Birthrate Is Bad News For My 2-Year-Old Son

“The U.S. birthrate just fell to its lowest point since we’ve been keeping track. Here’s why that may be a problem for my 2-year-old son.”

Read/listen to the full story at National Public Radio,

12/6/2012 – The Baby Boom Bump

“For decades we have known that the retirement of the baby boomers would be a monumental event for the economy. But now that it’s happening, many fiscal policy makers are acting as if the boomers are eternal teenagers and are turning a blind eye to how the boomers’ aging changes how we should approach economic policy. And this affects two of the central issues of the negotiations: how much the government should spend and how we can cut unemployment.”

Read the full editorial at The New York Times.