Living longer: are we getting older or younger for longer?

Ana Amélia Camarano
2016 Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology  
Since the second half of the 20th century survival has been democratised in most countries. More and more people reach an advanced age. The objective of this paper is to discuss how phases of the life cycle are being re-defined in the context of a world in transformation: the universalization of social security that guarantees income for older people; technological advances that have increased the velocity of communication and the demand for continuing education; medical advances; and changes
more » ... nces; and changes in family organization such as an increase in divorce rates, re-marriage and unions between people of the same sex. Even so, the biological changes that accompany ageing have not changed since Antiquity, in spite of hopes for a longer life. These changes occur later in life and more people live through them. Yet people continue to retire at more or less the same age. This suggests the creation of a new post retirement life phase that is distinct from adult life and the phase of fragility. We remain young for longer; indeed youth has been extended. We do not know whether this new phase will be experienced by all people. But if that becomes the case, why not include it as part of adult life?
doi:10.1590/1809-43412016v13n1p155 fatcat:h6vavesstnghjgk2mcdmwxm2si