The Future of Aging - How Longevity Will Change the Way We Live
Life expectancy at birth has increased rapidly all over the world the last
hundred years. From under 40 years on average to above 70 years today.
But not only is life expectancy at birth on the rise, so is the number of
years remaining at the age of 65.
More and more people are lucky enough to celebrate their 100th birthday. In Sweden
there were only 127 people aged 100 or above in 1970. Today the number is
around 2000 and growing. We are moving in a direction where reaching 100 years
and beyond will be the norm.
Even if the big picture is clear, there is also a lot of variation in life expectancy, not
only between countries but also within countries and between individuals. One
question going forward should of course be how the diseases that take most people’s
lives could be cured. Another maybe even more important one is if there
are opportunities for us as individuals as well as for societies to apply strategies
which make it less likely to get a deadly disease in the first place. A disproportional
amount of health care resources today are used in the last two years of a person’s
What can be done to delay the degeneration of the body that leads to aging and
very often also diseases? How should we live in order to last longer? Is there even a
city planning aspect of longevity? Why are we spending so much money on health
care and treatments and so little on prevention?
No one can have missed the last decades of discussion on aging societies and its
implications primarily on health care expenditures and pension systems, but what
does it mean for education, labor markets and culture? Are there economic opportunities
with an aging society alongside the challenges we have already heard so
much about? Do we need to value age and experience differently in a time where
more people live longer? And is it possible for us as individuals to make choices
which will lead to a longer life?
There is a lot of available knowledge about longevity – why some people live
healthily until their hundreds and others still die young. This knowledge could be
used by individuals as well as policy makers if we want to create societies where
people live equally long and healthy lives.
The aim of the seminar is to give a deeper understanding of the profound changes
Seminariet The Future of Aging hölls på Engelsbergs Bruk den 3 april 2019.