The Design of Aging & Death

Death is not a topic that frequently comes up in our youth obsessed culture.  It is certainly not the most upbeat topic, but aging and death will impact us all sooner or later. 

And our population is aging at an unprecedented rate. With the baby boom age cohort the U.S. and Europe will soon need to grapple with the implications of handling large scale retirement, assisted living and ultimately  geriatric care.  While unpleasant to consider, I believe we must think of this is an opportunity to think through how we handle our inevitable mortality in a way that is hopefully more graceful and conscious than it is today. 

To get a better understanding of the potential scale and geographic areas where this impacts, one need only check out Governings excellent data visualization indicating the median age of specific counties in the US http://www.governing.com/gov-data/age-65-older-population-map-usa-counties.html
 

From Governing.org

As you will see areas 45-65 tend to be in areas that are suburban or rural with lack of access to public transportation, health resources and social outlets.   

More on this topic upcoming. 

Some weak signals of this trend are in the new this week. 

Fusion has an interesting article on the implications of the sharing economy and dead people. 

http://fusion.net/story/39414/airbnb-has-a-dead-people-problem-the-morbid-side-of-the-sharing-economy/

This on the heels of Facebook's and Google's announcements of assigning a digital proxy to manage one's social identity in the inevitability of one's death. 

Facebook Legacy Contact

Google Inactive Account Manager 

Death with Dignity 

We need to design better end of life