Every year, the number of elderly people increases in both developed and developing countries, thanks to modern medicine's genius for pushing back the frontiers of death. But is longevity necessarily a good thing?
In California, fitness is taken to extremes. There are shops in image-obsessed Beverly Hills packed with pills and potions to extend life. In Santa Monica there are so many fitness boot camps and yoga sessions taking place in public parks that local officials are considering a clampdown.
A new report (Monday 14 April 2014) funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) finds that many older people enjoy good social connections. However, a substantial number are at risk of social exclusion.