Rami's Blog

Like the Yin-Yang, Eastern Martial Arts and Western medicine are two halves of a whole. My mission is to preserve the ancient mind-body tools, and pass them on to you.

 

Health Care Costs and the Elderly

Being elderly (commonly defined as 65+) in the U.S. has changed significantly in the last few decades. The elderly are not on the last leg of their life, but rather just starting the last quarter of their life, as the life expectancy continues to rise. Many of them are staying in the workforce, either because their bodies allow them to, or to support the children that they had (later in life than their parents) through college and other financial hurdles.

This is not an indicator that the elderly are experiencing all-around better health, however. Heart attacks, cancer, and other fatal health events have been pursued with billions of dollars of research funding to increase survival rates as much as possible. But chronic, non-fatal health problems that arise in old age like diabetes, arthritis, joint and muscle pain, etc., are still only see "treatments." 

As the elderly age group grows, everyone has a responsibility to understand the impact on our healthcare system. Does longer life expectancy mean fewer chronic issues, or just more time to have them? At this point, it is latter.

This is why preventative health routines are so important, especially for the elderly. The last thing the elderly want is to be a burden, financial or otherwise, on their children and grandchildren. Learning tai chi and qigong now may mean free arthritis treatment for life.