Concierge Care Keeps Health Span Vital: America’s booming 90-year old population.

Your health span is a phrase coined to describe the quality marker of your years, how long you live without suffering chronic disease or debilitating medical conditions. It is the true measure of a healthy lifespan.

The ability to preserve your relationship with your doctor has never been more important, as SignatureMD brings the best medical professionals in each market to a new business model that is a win-win for both patients and the doctors. This unfettered access and ease of communication within the SignatureMD model is one of the many reasons that America’s oldest old who are vital and working and doing normal life activities are increasing dramatically.

New reports from the National Institute on Aging reveal that 2 million plus now are 90 or over, triple their numbers of just three decades ago.  Broken down by race and ethnicity, non-Hispanic whites made up the vast majority of the 90-plus population, at 88.1 percent. That’s compared to 7.6 percent who were black, 4 percent Hispanic and 2.2 percent Asian.

The implications of this are enormous, and show how the planning for retiree income and health care programs is more crucial now than ever before.

Family safety nets, proper nutrition, being involved and pushing oneself to physically and mentally keep up are all part of the puzzle, but the single most important piece is having direct access to the doctor to stay well and maintain physical exams.

One enterprising 95 year-old American businessman is living proof that engaging the mind and keeping a positive attitude can overcome some physical limitations brought on by age.

Meet Stanley A. Dashew, author of “You Can Do It!” (“You Can Do It! Inspiration & Lessons from an Inventor, Entrepreneur & Sailor (Constellation Press, 2011) – a book that is a step-by-step for everyone to approach life and succeed in many areas.

Mr. Dashew says, “Today at age 95, I’ve weathered 15 economic recessions, suffered two broken hips, and I’m living with Parkinson’s disease. Nevertheless, I’m currently embarking on a new career just like these young people. Yes, I’ve become that writer that I’ve always wanted to be. For me, every day is an opportunity to invent and innovate…Times are tough. They have been before. My advice to our young people is to leverage what you’ve learned, turn your ideas into jobs and help build a better future.”

It is wonderful to imagine our life spans can be upwards of 90-plus, but the health span is what SignatureMD doctors concern themselves with as they counsel patients of all aspects of lifestyle and health.

According to the recent findings of the National Institute on Aging, the oldest old are projected to increase from 1.9 million to 8.7 million by midcentury.

Amazing stats considering that over a century ago, less than 100,000 people reached 90.

To stay ahead of the common chronic conditions of age, such as arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, you must have annual wellness exams and baseline tests throughout your entire life to remain vital.

According to an Associated poll – more than one in four adults expect to live to at least 90, including nearly half of those currently 65 or older. A majority of adults also said they expected people in their generation to live longer than those in their parents’ generation, with about 46 percent saying they expected a better quality of life in later years as well.

Interesting statistics reveals North Dakota leads the 90+ list, with about 7 percent of its 65-plus population over 90. It was followed by Connecticut, Iowa and South Dakota. California, Florida and Texas led the nation in the 90-plus population, each with more than 130,000.

The reality is this: We will live longer and we must maintain our health. When a person reaches 65, the data suggests that we can expect to live 20 years longer, up from 12 years in 1930. At age 90, their expectancy is another five years.

These sobering facts are something to consider, given the special congressional committee’s Nov. 23 deadline to cut more than $1 trillion from the federal deficit over 10 years. On the cutting board: Social Security and Medicare spending and increasing the Medicare eligibility age.


I. National Institute on Aging

About SignatureMD

SignatureMD is one of the nation’s largest firms providing initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians. SignatureMD currently partners with over 200 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 35 states, and its network is rapidly expanding.