Growing Number of Centenarians Raises Questions About Aging

Scripps MD says having a reason to live is key to reaching aging stratosphere

With more Americans living beyond 100, and medical advances expanding that population every year, more people are contemplating life as a centenarian.

While illness and disabilities can be major barriers to joining the 100-plus club, having a purpose to continue on with life might be the biggest challenging facing the extremely elderly, said Robert DeMonte, MD, division head of geriatric medicine at Scripps Clinic .

His comments were part of an article about centenarians by the Wisconsin State Journal.

“You need a purpose,” DeMonte told the Madison, Wis., newspaper. “You have to have hope. We’re continuing to develop new medical strategies to sustain life beyond the natural lifespan, but as a society we need to do a better job of looking at how the senior years can be more fulfilling.”

Centenarians still make up only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, but their ranks are growing faster than any other segment, according to the article.

Read the State Journal article: As Their Numbers Surge, Madison’s Centenarians Make a Case for the Very Old

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Keith Darce
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