An ambitious study was conducted in the UK. It aimed at clarifying the true value of prolonged life.
This research was funded by UK Medical Research Council. British people who were over 65-year-old were interviewed for the evaluation of their cognitive function and activity of daily living. Two decades after, another survey with the same protocol was conducted. Based on these results, the researchers calculated the life expectancy of the 65-year-old persons, as well as how long would they live without physical or mental impairments.
The Lancet: A comparison of health expectancies over two decades in England: results of the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study I and II
It means that, ultimately, whether we have benefited from modern medicine. Even if prolonged live is achieved thanks to the development of medical science, it seems not beneficial for us when we will have to spend acquired time with severe cognitive impairment or poor physical status.
The result is rather relieving. In both men and women, the term without impairment has been increased, as well as life expectancy itself. We need not fear to face bedridden or demented life due to prolonged life.
However, our worry about aging is not limited to the health problem. In Japan, increasing senior citizens are suffering from poverty. They are not absolutely poor, but are struggling for maintaining their daily life. The financial crisis is one of the major problems in Japan. Perhaps due to this issue, some people do not want to live a long life. It is a sad thing, I think.