Shake Out Those Creaky Knees and Prepare for the New Old Age

Reason's special issue on aging, pensions, and immortality


Aging is traditionally associated with loss of mental skills, declining physical agility, and a decreasing ability to care for yourself. In short, it's always been a bit grim and sad, offset by the slim hope that the youngsters consider old-timers sufficiently wise and experienced to make their continued presence at the dinner table worthwhile.

But while there's still troubling news about pensions, Medicare, and Social Security—programs mired in the traditional view of aging and equally bogged down in bad finances—there's new evidence that getting older doesn't have to mean losing capabilities or independence.

New technology and models for elder care show that innovation, kindness, and respect for personal preferences makes residents happier and produce better results. Techniques in development promise to reverse the effects of mental deterioration and render the mental skills of the old as agile as ever.

In fact, science is learning to extend not just life, but health, to such an extent that it's time to contemplate what it will mean for humans to live not just a long time, but maybe even forever. What if you could live for 10,000 years?

Click here to explore Reason's full exploration of The New Old Age.