On the Metrics of Aging & Longevity -1

On your next visit with your elder mother in the local retirement residence, you will likely be in the emotional throws typical in care giving, symbolically manifested in the straightening of a crooked picture on the wall, which has been the source of some distress to her ever since your last visit. And then at the moment of your leaving, you will put on your business hat as you encounter the director of the residence over a billing issue.

Not for a moment, as you leave with a sigh to the parking lot and for the rest of the day, do you even give a thought to the metrics of aging and longevity. But there are those who do think of these things as their academic or business focus.

While you are busy living your everyday circumstances related to aging experiences, lecture halls and meeting rooms are a buzz with terms like morbidity rates, old age dependency and longevity indices.

Fascinating stuff; well worth remembering on your next sobering visit to see your mother. An example of this metrics discussion on a broad level can be found in a recent Globe and Mail contribution titled “An Aging Population: Our Senior Moment”, written by two academics from the University of Edinburgh.

In spite of the amusement you might get reading about things like RLE and OADR and REDR, it’s sort of a primer that helps put into perspective how some interpret and discuss the changing narrative of a global aging population.           

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