The average life expectancy has risen steadily throughout Germany over the past decades. More and more people are reaching an extremely high age. Scientists at the Charité University Medical Center in Berlin are discussing how life prospects and the care situation for very elderly people in Germany are designed at a conference on longevity.
On the basis of several studies carried out, the Charité scientists at today's meeting will present the life prospects of centenarians, their care situation and the resulting effects on the life situation of their relatives, reports the Charité University Medical Center Berlin. The conference "Long-lasting health and participation of a population group with a future" takes place in the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
More than 1.800 hundred-year-olds alone in Berlin
According to the Charité, "more than 1,800 people living in Berlin alone live in Berlin"of the hundred-year-olds, however, little attention. And this, according to the experts, is "the most growing population group in Germany." In a series of studies, scientists from the Institute of Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science at Charité have therefore investigated the life prospects of very old people from the perspective of providers, members of the family and from the perspective of the longevity itself. At this conference, three of these studies will be presented.
Experts at the edge of the life span
The first two studies funded by the Center for Quality in Care, according to the Charité, were interviews with hundred-year-olds and their relatives. The Head of Aging Research at the Institute of Medical Sociology, Dr. Dagmar Dräger, stresses that "the life experience of a whole century, supplemented by many years of experience with health restrictions in itself and others, and dying and death in social networks, make hundred-year-olds special experts at the extreme edge of the human life span".According to the Charité expert, the survey of relatives also provided an insight "into cross-generational relationships, the care situation of centenarians and the resulting burdens and needs".
Ethical and societal perspectives of longevity
For the third study carried out by the health insurance fund, the scientists analyzed health insurance data to obtain information on the diagnosis and health care of very elderly people living at home or in nursing homes. The current conference, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, is intended to promote interdisciplinary discourse on ethical and social perspectives of longevity, according to the Charité.(fp)