William Thomas, M.D.

3 People Who Are Changing What it Means to Age

"Is aging humanity's worst problem?"

This is the question that Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation, a non-profit organization for conducting research on scientific rejuvenation, poses in his 2009 TEDMED speech.

"Aging kills 100,000 people per day; most after a long period of suffering," points out de Grey. "What else does that?"

Indeed, as the years begin to accumulate, it does sometimes seem as if things just keep getting progressively worse for human beings.

What starts off as simple joint pain, can soon transform into full-blown arthritis. Small mental slips evolve into greater cognitive issues. At some point, we may be forced to give up the keys to the car we've been driving for years, or the house we've lived in for decades, and rely on someone else (usually an adult child) to care for us. These are just a few of the common issues of aging.

However, there are those out there who are striving to change this paradigm. These male and female visionaries are dedicated to transforming how we view (and experience) the inevitable process of getting older. We'd like to introduce you to a few of them, and their out-of-the-box ideas.

Here are 3 people who are poised to change the way the world thinks about aging:

William Thomas, M.D. (shown in image above), co-founder of the Eden Alternative and Green House Project—two initiatives aimed at transforming the future of eldercare—speaks at TEDxSF about the root causes of ageism, and how it can be overcome:

Tim Carpenter, founder and executive director of EngAGE, an organization geared towards making senior living communities places where elders can interact and engage with their environment, says that whenever he speaks about aging, he asks the audience one question: "How many of you want to get older?"

The response, he admits, is tepid at best. Only around half of those gathered actually raise their hands. The other half, assumably, prefer the alternative.

In this talk, given at TEDxSoCal, Carpenter examines the issue of why so many of us seem to loathe the very idea of getting older:

Finally, we come to Aubrey de Grey's 2009 TEDMED talk, where he outlines the theory how modern medicine could be used to "end aging" by performing ongoing maintenance on the human body:

 
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