Living longer is a great thing, however increased lifespans and older age generally lead to increased ill health. Health conditions and impairments such as arthritis, dementia and hearing loss become more common as people get older.
We might already have the drug we need to slow the aging process—and it’s dirt cheap. Metformin is an old, generic diabetes drug, known for its blood sugar–lowering properties and for being quite safe. It’s common, and it costs about 35 cents per pill. It has also been found to stall the aging process in animal studies.
According to the most current Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2012 survey of disability, ageing and carers, there were 2.7 million family and friend carers over the age of 15 years in Australia – 12% of the nation’s population.
Living longer is a great thing, but we also need to remain healthy to enjoy our longer lives to their fullest. Unfortunately, debilitating conditions such as heart and kidney disease, diabetes, and some types of arthritis are more common in older people.
Two-thirds of people older than 75 take five or more medicines daily and, on average, at least one of these is either harmful or unnecessary.
During National Carers week we are urged to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of carers and help them take a break.