Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What will happen is easy - knowing when is difficult (impossible)

Back in 2010 a lot of knowledgeable people came together to predict how things might work out by the year 2020. I know we are little more than halfway towards 2020 but we have some idea how likely it is for these predictions to come true.

This is what was expected to occur, related to the ageing population. I have added my thoughts in italics:

Robotic assisted care and remote monitoring provide economically viable support for the sick and elderly so that people can stay home for longer. No way this is going to happen - even in Japan.

With diabetes consuming 5% of GDP a combination of fat taxation, patient data mining and personal budgets will play a role in stabilizing the obesity epidemic. Some evidence (proposed sugar tax in the UK) ultra slow progress 

Stopping mental degradation from Alzheimer’s makes quality ageing more possible by improving cognition and slowing the rate of decline Not much progress. Maybe, just maybe, medication starting to be available by 2020

More customized foods, blur the line between pharmaceuticals and food as neutragenomics allow individualized diets to fit genetic profiles  Most unlikely

The escalating economic and social cost of supporting the aged beyond natural lifecycles leads to wider acceptance of assisted suicide. I think older people can see that assisted suicide should be an option but it is still being vigourously opposed by the establishment. Seen as a 'too hot to handle' issue

A wealthier, healthier older generation increasingly engage in more active lives, having extended careers and becoming more politically involved. Yes and no. I think a better statement is that a minority of older generation engage in active lives etc. An awful lot of older people are are inactive and poor. 

I am sure the general direction of the predictions is still valid but the timescale is slipping. Dick Stroud

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