Living to 100!
And although there is some suggestion that the much trumpeted steady expansion of the human lifespan has begun to slow down, the numbers of very old people continue to grow.
Despite this, debates about the resourcing of universal health and social care tend not to examine the costs associated with extreme ageing.
Yet the problem of chronic conditions and multiple morbidity is greatest among octogenarians and nonagenarians.
Very old age, if commented upon, is presented as if it were a kind of extreme sports competition. Centenarians are celebrated simply for reaching 100. Nonagenarians hit the news when they run a mile, climb a mountain or pilot a plane. Otherwise, silence reigns.
Yet the focus of most social care is on people aged 80 and over – a group for whom care is needed because health cures have failed them. The morbidities and infirmities that beset the extremely aged are not so much ignored as abandoned to the efforts of medical services and social care.
To read more on this story visit the Independent website.