Skip to main content

Press release

Former President Prof. Björn Schuhmacher guest at the alpha-Forum.

Broadcast from 10.2.2016, 20.15 Uhr

Thesis paper of the DGfA

Perspectives of the aging society

The doubling of life expectancy over the past 150 years can be considered one of the greatest achievements of our civilization. However, as life expectancy continues to rise, demographic change is visibly intensifying, and soon one third of the population in Germany will be over 65.

However, old age is inevitably associated with diseases, some of them serious. For example, more than half of those over 65 suffer from multimorbidity, i.e. two or more chronic diseases are present at the same time. A significant portion of society's resources must be devoted to the treatment and care of the elderly. The risk of suffering from dementia from the age of 85, for example, is around 40%, meaning that almost every second person is affected. It is therefore essential for the future of our society that age-related diseases are tamed in a sustainable way. This is an enormous scientific and medical challenge. The current debate about pensions in relation to demographic change therefore unfortunately falls far short of the mark. Age-related diseases are the real powder keg that needs to be defused. For only if the health problems of aging are solved can the period of healthy aging be extended and social participation continue to be possible. Rapid advances in aging research give reason to hope that healthy aging can succeed and age-related diseases can be prevented. To meet these challenges, massive investments in biomedical aging research are essential today. Read more