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Old age and aging are not synonymous, although many believe otherwise. While one has to do with biology, the other refers to the form and quality of life.
Towards the end of the 19th century, life expectancy was around 50 years. In other words, what many specialists consider today as the "golden age" of life was, at that time, the final stretch for many. Thanks to advances in science, technology, medicine and sports, that figure has been extended to an average of 80 years. But, although the biological age of people has extended, the challenge facing humanity today is also to improve the quality of life.
While old age is a state associated with disease and low quality of life, aging refers to a process. In this sense, old age can be avoided with the development of good aging. So, it is about aging that extends over time and that old age be as short a stage as possible that is not linked to a long period of illness and limitations.
In other words, the future task of the biological and social sciences in the coming years is to achieve longer aging and shorter old age to postpone disability and, therefore, reduce chronicity, which is so frequent in older adults. , in order to extend human life expectancy.
To achieve these goals, the elderly of tomorrow can already think about taking care of themselves to live better in the future. Being old is no longer a drama and, on the contrary, includes many more possibilities than were offered to previous generations.
It should be taken into account that, in a very short time, the life expectancy has been extended. Previously, it took 3,000 years to extend 20 years to life; today, that happened in less than a century.
It is essential, then, to lengthen the aging time and shorten that of old age. While the first is a benign process, closely linked to health and autonomy, the second is a state linked to pathology, disability and dependence.