First of all, a big thank you for all the positive comments about my last post and outfit. You made my day! Thanks for the encouragement to write about what is on my mind. Also a big thank you to all of you that had specific suggestions about what to write about. There will be posts addressing your questions with start today.
Terri at Rags Against the Machine (who recently have done a really interesting style challenge worth reading about) said that she was curious to know more about aging research. I am very happy to write about a research area that I think is very important. In this first post I will write some general thought about why I think aging research is important and what I think is needed to get a better understanding of aging, and devote at least one other posts about my specific research. For you that are more interested about my thoughts about this outfit, you can skip the coming paragraphs and go to the last paragraph.
I suppose that most people even outside the aging research area have heard and know that the world’s population are getting older. It is often referred to as a problem in media and in research. However, I prefer to think about it as one human mankind’s greatest achievements. Despite the struggles we all faces during different parts our life course most of us want to live a long life and can do so. It is estimated that half of the children that are born today will live until they are 100 years old. However, we don’t want these last years of life to be characterized by physical and mental limitations, but to have a good old age. Researchers do not agree whether or not we have been able to increase the healthy life years, which I guess means that if we have been able to increase the numbers of healthy life years the increase is small.
So the main question remain how to get a good old age? I believe that if we want to understand the aging process we need to study aging from various perspective, from genes to social aspects and the interaction between these factors. Given that old persons have lived a long life we can not only take the last years of life into account, but we need to study aging from a life course perspective starting in childhood. This requires time, money, advanced methods, and persons that are willing to carry this research out and persons that are willing to participate in these studies.
Although there seem to be an increasing awareness about the need of aging research and our methods of studying aging is advancing, still there is a lot to do. Just let me give you some concrete examples. A lot of research are done on young adults and/or middle-aged persons, and if I am allowed to generalize these results are applied to all over twenty years of age. For example, medical trials are performed on young healthy adults, very often these happens to be men too (but the gender aspects could be a post on it’s on, so I will not discuss this further). However, the end users are in most cases old persons that might have various diseases and many medications, and as women live longer than men, they often happen to not be males. In other words, the knowledge about the effects of medical treatments in late life is scarce, and I have heard physicians say that some medical treatments in late life do more harm than good.
If research include old persons it often exclude the oldest-old. Needless to say, being 65 years of age are most of the times very different from being 95 years of age, but still many studies exclude persons in the highest age segments, as it is methodologically challenging (persons are sick, frail, and drop out of the studies due to disease and death). Most of these studies also have a short follow-up time (if any) and it makes it very hard to draw any conclusions about causes. It is important to describe what happens in old age, but in my opinion it is also very important to understand why it happens. If we can understand the underlying causes we might be able to develop treatment strategies, health recommendations, etc.
I know that there is no simple solutions for the above mentioned problems, and I also think it is a challenge. However, I think that we need to strive for a better understanding , better methods including studies with long follow-up times, etc. I think the older generations that have built the society we live in and raised us deserve it. However, it is actually research that is done for all generations, because sooner or later we all will be old, and I think a good old age to some extent starts earlier on, but that will be addressed in another post.
Now to what I wear in the pictures and when I wore it. I wear a new dress from Vero Moda. The dress is a little bite too short for my personal taste, but I wear my pleated skirt beneath to extent it and I think it works fine. I think I will get very much use of this dress. I can se how I both can dress it down and dress it up. I can’t wait to wear this dress with a denim jacket, but first I have to find the denim jacket. So far I have worn this outfit twice, once doing some shopping and once going out for dinner, and both times I felt very good in it.
Dress – Vero Moda, Skirt (beneath) – Sisters, Wedges – Erbil Suel, Bangles – H&M, Belt – I can’t remember, Watch – Empirio Armani (gift from my parents for defending my thesis successfully)