While we all will face our mortality at some point, those of us with aging parents are already there on a regular basis. How we treat our elders is a medical, economic and moral issue that will only loom larger as more people live longer. The longevity revolution that has ushered in unprecedented growth of the senior population has also brought the diseases of aging–heart disease, diabetes, cancer and aged-related dementia–to the forefront. If you have aging parents, this issue can get very personal, but as a public policy issue, each of these chronic conditions can be ameliorated, not necessarily eliminated, by a strong investment in basic and medical research.
Noted gerontologist Ken Dychtwald recently testified before Congress on the looming crisis and opportunity to do something meaningful.