An Age Old Problem

An Age Old Problem At the time of year when our concern for the elderly is particularly strong, we travel to Japan, the world's oldest nation, to discover the secret to dealing with advancing age. But have they got the answers?
With 30 million people over 65, Japan's life expectancy is the highest in the world. In the countryside it seems that keeping active and sociable is the secret; "a positive mental attitude is what counts". Yet in Tokyo the story is not quite the same - in the city the elderly aren't active through choice. Meagre pensions mean they often work up to their deaths. More and more old people line the streets, "living one day to the next". With a huge burden falling on the younger generation, the technophile Japanese see robots as a solution, most recently developing a 'robot suit' walking aid, designed to increase independence. It's a step in the right direction, but is it too little too late?

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