If getting senior perks starting at 65 wasn’t enough, there’s more good news for those heading to the big 7-0.
Harvard Professor David Cutler tells CBS that elderly people today have the health profile that people 10 years their junior used to have.
“People have aged about 10 years less than they formerly did. You see that in measures of their activities and what they can do in their walking, their ability to do light housework, their ability to live independently or with minimal assistance.”
In a statement released on the study, Cutler says the period where people are in poor health is being compressed.
“With the exception of the year or two just before death, people are healthier than they used to be,” Cutler said. “Where we used to see people who are very, very sick for the final six or seven years of their life, that’s now far less common. People are living to older ages and we are adding healthy years, not debilitated ones.”
While aging people are able to function longer, Dave wonders whether their physical appearance is on par with how they feel.
“I think the thing is when you’re 80, you may feel healthy, but you still look 80,” says Dave. “That’s the main problem.”
Those that do try to manipulate the way they look at 80 tend to just make it worse, Dave says.
“People who try not to look 80 and get all the facelifts and the surgeries, they end up looking bizarre,” says Dave. “Your smile is way too wide and never leaves your face.”
Cutler says there are many reasons people are living longer and healthier lives, including better health care and better health choices.
But guest host Ken Schram complains when it comes to making better choices, there’s so much information out there, it’s near impossible to know which options are best.
“As you continue to get evolving information – ‘don’t drink coffee, it’s not good for you,’ ‘oh no drink coffee, it will help prevent prostate cancer.’ ‘Don’t eat salt, eat salt.'”
Dave’s solution to that is just adapting his diet and behavior to the latest advice.
“I just follow whatever the latest study tells me. When the study comes out saying, ‘Don’t drink coffee,’ I stop drinking the coffee. When it’s rehabilitated, I start drinking it again. I’ve done fine.”
Even if you can keep up with the “good choices,” Ken says following all the advice can make for an “abysmal life,” cutting this, cutting that.
His plan moving forward is to stick with ‘moderation in everything,’ while Dave will remain flexible.