Aug 26, 2013
By Michael Kramer
NCARP members don’t see much value in extreme longevity, neither for themselves nor for society at large. Medical science might let people live to 120 but not many want to.
CARP members are aware that there are radical life extension possibilities but are unlikely to embrace it for themselves. They are much less supFFportive than their American counterparts – even allowing for age differences in the two samples – and cite resource pressures, think it is fundamentally unnatural and would not lead to a more productive economy.
“Science holds out the promise of extreme longevity but CARP members have a more levelled headed reaction – they worry about staying healthy and the societal effects. They expect to live longer than their American counterparts – perhaps due to our universal health coverage – but are half as likely to undertake life extension treatments. If they had more years, they’d do the same as they do now.
Our members, for the most part, are happy with their lives, and don’t wish to extend them beyond a natural span. The American public, on the other hand, is always attracted to bright shiny objects, and the promise of immortality is one of the brightest and shiniest of these” said Susan Eng, Vice President Advocacy for CARP.
Pew Research surveyed over 2000 US adults in Spring, 2013 about extended life spans http://www.pewforum.org/2013/08/06/living-to-120-and-beyond-americans-views-on-aging-medical-advances-and-radical-life-extension/. More than 1,800 CARP members responded to this weekend’s poll on some of the same questions.
The Pew poll was taken among a general population sample, weighted to reflect current US census data, and therefore containing all ages. The CARP sample is made up of CARP members, whose average age is about 70 in this sample. This will lead to significant differences in attitudes to health care and longevity between the two samples.
CARP members want to live to age 94 on average [a bit longer than the American sample of age 89] but expect to live to about 88 on average. Less than 10% in either sample wanted to live to 120.
CARP members are half as interested in taking part in these life extension techniques as Americans, and much less convinced than Americans that others would like to take part.
The single most common concern about living to 120 is that these extra years be healthy years (52%), followed distantly by concern about retirement savings (11%).
If they had 20 more years of good health and sound financial footing, most CARP members would spend their extra time doing what they do now (38%), followed by travel (24%), volunteering (13%) and spending time with kids and grandkids (12%).
CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.
For further information, please contact: