3 ways the US government can surf the ‘Silver Tsunami’

Can the US tackle Metabesity with a new Longevity strategy?

America has a history of the most renowned and the best medical facilities and researchers in the developed world, yet according to the Aging Analytics Agency (AAA) it is lagging behind in the Longevity field. A lack of US political will may be one of the key barriers to tackling Metabesity and Longevity. As one of the major topics at the Metabesity 2019 conference coming-up next week on the 15th to 16th October, the question is: What policies and frameworks need to change to put the US back in the Longevity race?

In its latest report, the AAA looks at aging data from the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to identify strategies that could lead to a threefold ‘win’ of better healthspans, larger savings for healthcare, and longer lifespans.

“Longevity is one of the biggest and most leveraged healthcare challenges and opportunities of this century.” Aging Analytics Agency

Top 3 Strategies:

(1) Establish frameworks to strengthen national capacity for combating ageism and transform understanding
To improve the perception of aging in the workplace and society as a whole. Additionally, formulate evidence-based policies to combat ageism and transform the understanding of health and aging; 

(2) Develop more innovative policies and services for the elderly
To ensure access to affordable quality senior-centered care and integrated clinical care via an appropriately trained, deployed and managed health workforce;

(3) Bridge the digital divide
Create more services and technology training for the elderly and learning hubs to support to their needs in an increasingly digital world.
And these aren’t the only options, other policy changes include:

  • Developing a public Longevity health plan;
  • Creating higher standards of care for those in later life;
  • Focusing on preventive medicine rather than ‘sick care’;
  • Improving the measurement, monitoring and research on healthy aging.

AAA’s latest report teaser highlights the discrepancy between the USA’s health expenditures and its low ranking on the Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) relative to other advanced economies. Could the barriers to tackling Metabesity in the US be government policies or current healthcare frameworks?

Currently, countries like Singapore are ahead of the US in terms of healthcare and preparation for the coming ‘tipping point’ in the aging population. With the competition heating up and other countries like China, beginning to understand the importance of Longevity research and medicine, the race for who will develop the strategies to target healthspan.

Breanna Deutsch, a former congressional staffer and contributor to AAA’s report, says, “What we need to figure out is how to maintain America’s leadership in biomedical innovation, we have been leaders throughout the decades and we’re at risk of losing that title.”

So will America get ahead of the ‘Silver Tsunami’ with the integration of new policies? The answer remains to be seen but with if done right, we could see the tide shift to find a way to turn the coming wave from a problem into an opportunity.

The AAA has partnered with the Targeting Metabesity 2019 conference on 15-16th October in Washington, DC, which will assemble a stellar roster of leaders from government, science and medicine, industry and finance, including an enriched collection of top leaders in geroscience to discuss the emerging science, challenges and opportunities in translating such science into material, accessible gains in healthspan and increasing lifespan.

Photo credit: Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay