Predictions for the future have changed quite a lot over the past few years. For instance, did you know at one point it was believed that oil would have run out by now? It’s true, early estimates believed that oil would completely disappear by around 2025. As well as this, it had been suggested that global warming would have melted the polar ice caps sending us into a Day After Tomorrow Scenario. But, while the polar bears are losing their homes, the temperature outside isn’t below zero in Africa every day. Meanwhile, oil will continue to heat our homes will past 2050. If we get desperate that are still oil supplies underneath Yellowstone as well as the polar ice cap. We just can’t get to it because of those darn environmentalists. The point to take home is that sometimes researchers and scientists get it wrong.
That’s why we can’t tell you exactly what the world is going to look like for elderly people in 2050. What we can do is make educated guesses based on current research, news stories, and predictions. We can also look at past trends and think about how they could continue to shape the future.
You’ll be pleased to hear that while there will certainly be issues for elderly people, it’s not all bad news. In fact, you might find that you have a better quality of life in 2050 than your parents are living right now. So, let’s look at the highs and lows of elderly living in the future.
Half The Time You Might Not Know Where You Are
By 2050 there is expected to be over 115 million people across the world living with dementia. That estimate is from the people over at the WHO who have described the threat of the condition as an epidemic. Dementia can affect people in different ways. But in simplistic terms dementia slows shrinks the brain, so you lose memories, cognitive function, and even motor control in some cases. It’s not the type of situation we’d wish on anyone, so it’s quite alarming to think it’s on the rise. In fact, in 2015 it was actually the number one cause of death in the UK.
But there is a good news. First, advanced research methods like Vitro solutions are actually leading to a better understanding of the condition. In a few years, we might be able to pin down the actual cause that has thus far almost completely eluded us. There are theories about what causes dementia but no concrete evidence as of yet. You can learn from Hera BioLabs the type of research methods that are being used and what they could mean for the future. They are certainly not the only research company providing new methods of investigation.
There’s another bright glimmer of hope too. Recently researchers have suggested that they are close to a cure for dementia. In fact, there have been positive findings with a certain drug that is currently in testing stages. This stops the development of dementia and could lead to a better quality of life in patients. Unfortunately, as of right now there is no drug that can reverse the effects of the condition.
Fitness Is Going To Be Really Fun
We weren’t aware of this until we started researching, but there are playgrounds specifically for the elderly. These playgrounds are being built in every country and started in China before spreading to Japan. Japan, of course, known for a low number of children saw no reason to keep child play parks in operation. Instead, they were torn down and replaced with places for the elderly. You might think we’re making this up, but a little research online will show we’re telling the truth. So, you can forget about hopping in a pool will with other wrinkles for some stretches. Instead, you can nip down to your nearest play park and have a go on the swings. While these play parks are quite difficult to locate we suspect there will be plenty more of them in the future? Why? Well…
You’ll Have Plenty Of Company
It’s believed that by 2050 the elderly population will be nearly double what it is now. Meanwhile, young people will have diminished in numbers. The bad news for young people is that they are going to have to pay a fortune in taxes to ensure the state pension survives. The good news is that governments will be forced to focus more of their resources on the elderly population. After all, they’ll make up most of the voting public. So, there will be more care facilities, nursing home, residential settlements and plenty of comfort for those living out their twilight years.
Of course, it could go the other way, and social security might run out completely. That’s slightly more problematic which is why it’s best to start saving now. If you don’t, you might be surprised at just how little money you’re expected to live on when you retire. While many people claim that social security will always be around, it’s not a guarantee. It just depends on what country you live in and what government is in power.
One solution is to reduce spending in other areas to pay for the increased need for pensions. Some people have optimistically suggested this could lead to fewer wars. After all, there will be less money for some countries who currently spend obscene amounts on their military.
You’ve Got A Long Life Ahead Of You
Ignore the health warnings on TV that claim you’ll die at 45 if you keep lounging around eating chips. Major health organizations have suggested life expectancy will be over seventy by 2025. By 2050? That number will increase to 83, and no country will have a life expectancy under sixty. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you’ll continue to have a great quality of life past sixty-five. While life expectancy is increasing, quality of life doesn’t follow the same pattern. The quality of life could diminish as you get older since you’ll be more prone to medical conditions. So, while you are kept alive, you might suffer from chronic pain, mental conditions like dementia or any number of different issues.
Researchers do suggest that the secret to a good quality of life in old age is to live well while you’re young. So, if you want to spend your old age in your own home rather than a hospital bed, improve that diet. Head to the gym and make sure that you’re testing your brain rather than spending the day staring at the TV.
Surely Tech Could Help Improve Things?
Well, yes and no. As technology continues to evolve, we will see life get easier for the elderly. For instance, new tech means that even if your body does fail you will still be able to live a relatively normal life. Admittedly that might mean relying on chronic pain and another tech to help you out through the day. In fact, researchers and developers are already shifting their attention to developing tech that will specifically benefit the elderly. With this increased focus on the old age lifestyle, elderly life might not be as bad as most people think. There’s just a slight problem with this. Currently, tech seems intent on reducing socialization, reducing responsibility and extinguishing self-dependence. Our favorite example of this would be the driverless car. We spend around ten to fifteen percent of our lives sitting in traffic. But, if you don’t want to crash you do have to concentrate on your surroundings during this time. Five years from now that won’t be necessary. Instead, you can just travel from one destination to the next without a care in the world. That’s certainly going to have an impact on our mental health as we get older.
Cancer Will Be As Common As The Flu
Don’t worry, we’ll finish with good news, but we need to think about cancer. When you were younger, your chances of developing cancer were around 1 in 5. Now, they are close to 1 in 2 which means that fifty percent of us will develop cancer at some point. For elderly people, cancer is actually more common, so the chances of you not developing this disease at some point in 2050 are close to zero. Although, thankfully technology and medicine are working together to beat the disease. So, while it will be horrifically common it could, theoretically, become as dangerous as the common cold.
No More Trips To The Doctors!
Finally, forget about heading to the doctors or hospital with a medical condition. By 2050 thanks to a close to 1 in 2 that’s just not going to be possible. Instead, elderly patients will probably receive automated virtual care in their own home. So, you can forget about those long annoying wait times. At the same time, though, while a diagnosis might be quick, treatment could take a while. Unless you have the money to pay for it of course. In the future, it is very unlikely that there will still be any form of free health treatment. If it is still around, it’s pretty much a guarantee system like the NHS won’t be able to cope with the level of demand.