Explorer Ponce De Leon may not have found the “Fountain of Youth” when exploring Florida in 1513, however tremendous progress has been made in extending life spans in the United States and around the world. According to a July 2010 National Institue on Aging publication, “Can We Prevent Aging?”, life expectancy has increased from 70.8 in 1970 to 76.9 in 2000. The population in the United States age 85 and older could grow to 10 million people by 2030.
We are living longer than past generations. While the myth that memory loss and aging inevitably go hand in hand has been dispelled, we know that the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia does increase with age.
Delaying the onset of memory loss is an important focus of research. If researchers find a way to delay the onset of memory problems by even five years it will be a tremendous boost to aging people and their families.
In the mean time it is important for aging people to exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain an active life doing things they enjoy.