Aging, Chronic Illnesses and Genetic Disorders Driving Regenerative Medicine
Significant advances have been made in the field of regenerative medicine. With the worldwide population getting older, more people suffer from chronic health and mobility issues, destroying their quality of life.
You might remember the 1970s TV Show "The Six Million Dollar Man" (equivalent to over $35 million today).
The opening line of the show said:
Steve Austin, astronaut: a man barely alive
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him
We have the technology
We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man
Steve Austin will be that man
Better than he was before
Better, Stronger, Faster
Lee Majors played Steve Austin in NBC’s “Six Million Dollar Man”
Today we have made advances, like joint replacements. More than a million people in the United States alone have joint replacement surgery every year. There are 720,000 knee replacements and 330,000 hip replacements. Don't forget there are shoulder and ankle replacements as well.
Medicine has made many advances since that TV show making some 'fiction' into reality. Now regenerative medicine looks to take this to another level.
Regenerative medicine has become a growing industry worldwide. It focuses on finding and developing treatments and therapies to restore physical function lost due to aging, disease, and even genetic defects.
Restoring Your Body and Health
The goal is to restore or establish normal function in our bodies. The problem has increased as more people live longer lives and thus suffer from more chronic health problems. Plus, people with diseases that had little or no treatments available now have options that can improve their quality of life.
The Mayo Clinic explains that heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoarthritis are examples of long-lasting chronic conditions that do not resolve on their own. In many cases, symptoms can be managed with medication or medical devices.
Mayo says that regenerative medicine goes beyond disease management. The attempt is to find therapies that support the body in repairing, regenerating, and restoring itself to a state of well-being.
Industry Growing Rapidly
The treatment of chronic conditions is expected to significantly affect health care in the decades ahead. The Global Regenerative Medicine Industry is expected to reach $6.49 billion in 2027, according to Emergen Research. The increasing global geriatric population and cancer, neurodegenerative, orthopedic, and other aging-related disorders will increase this industry, benefiting people worldwide.
Illnesses and long-term diseases resulting from aging lead to reduced quality of life. Many more people need help with daily living activities due to these illnesses or the consequences of general aging.
This emerging field of regenerative medicine provides both immediate and future promise for individuals as they get older or suffer from many health problems with little or current treatment or therapy. The increased longevity of the global population, along with the growing amount of chronic degenerative diseases, poses a challenge for health care, governments, families, and finances. While existing solutions remain inadequate, advances in medical science, including regenerative medicine, may improve the quality of life and medical outcomes for more people around the globe.
One example is orthopedics. Orthopedic surgeons in the future can move away from joint replacements and toward joint preservation. The use of orthobiologics can provide your body with the cells, materials, and stimulation it needs to heal without having surgery.
In the future, doctors may no longer use metal and ceramic joint replacements and instead use biological replacement and regeneration. Orthobiologic injections may be used as a preventative measure for those who have degenerative joint conditions.
Many older people suffer from joint degeneration and arthritis, creating mobility problems and pain. Today they may need pain medication, use canes or walkers for mobility, and receive joint replacements.
For individuals suffering from pain due to arthritis, regenerative medicine promises to remove the suffering and replace it with long-term relief and better quality of life.
Progress Already Made – Promise for the Future
The National Institutes of Health says that researchers working in regenerative medicine have already made amazing progress creating artificial organs, for example, as doctors in the future may be able to replace diseased or injured body parts with brand-new versions made in the lab.
Research in this area will give us a better understanding of how diseases develop and spread. The research will bring us accurate screens for testing new drugs and cell-based therapies for diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and many other conditions that affect millions of people worldwide.
The goal of regenerative medicine is to heal or replace tissues and organs damaged by age, disease, or trauma and normalize congenital defects. Advances have been made, but more research must be done.
Aging and Declining Health Affecting Quality of Life
The problem of chronic illnesses and aging will not just go away. Aging presents significant financial problems for families as long-term health care is costly and not covered by traditional insurance, including Medicare.
The quality of life for many people diminishes as they get older. The so-called 'golden years' are less golden due to declining health, mobility problems, general aging, and dementia. Many people ignore the problem until it affects them or a loved one. At that point, medicine and caregiving can only react to a pre-existing situation instead of getting ahead of it in advance.
Many family caregivers face a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. Professional long-term health care costs are skyrocketing due to the increasing demand for care and higher labor costs - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
Long-Term Care Insurance helps those who own a policy, but many people ignore planning options until the crisis occurs, leaving them to use family caregivers for their assets to pay for expensive care services.
Medical science may solve some of these problems - or make them easier to deal with. However, aging will remain a problem for the foreseeable future.
About the Author
Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.
Contributor since October 31st, 2017
Retirement planning seems like you already need to be a six-million-dollar man - or woman - to enjoy your future retirement. The costs of long-term health care adversely affect families and finances. In many situations, nobody thought about what would happen as you get older and need help with daily living activities or suffer from Alzheimer's or other dementia.
Some people think their health insurance, Medicare, supplements - or the government will pay for all this care. Don't depend on that! Medicaid will pay for long-term care services, but the care recipient must have little or no income or assets.
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Some people think declining health and aging will not impact them. The truth is that aging happens, and we should prepare for the future costs and burdens of aging. The consequences are real, and the solution is available.
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Planning Tools and Resources Available on LTC NEWS
Planning for the future is never easy, but long-term health care planning can be very complicated and comes with many emotions. Getting the right tools and resources will make the process much easier.
One of the goals is to reduce the stress and anxiety usually placed on your family at the time of crisis. LTC NEWS can be beneficial in providing you with important information for you to consider.
LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
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Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
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If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
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Don't allow the claim process to stop you from using the benefits available in an LTC policy. Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care.
If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help. LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work - free with no obligation.
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Advantages of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance. You might be eligible at younger ages as well.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, and even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. Mike Banner, LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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