Today we celebrate Mother's Day and those caregivers who are finding themselves caring for their Mothers and dealing with the transition of perhaps now playing the role of Mother to their own Mom. Happy Mother's Day to you, however you may have entered into the position!
Motherhood will continue to evolve as the latest news shows a baby born today will have a very good chance of living to be 110-years-old and more than half will surpass age 100. Living for a century will no longer be rare. Scientists at the University of California are studying how to prolong life and crossing the bridge into this new territory that ignites emotions and moral questions.
Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder, is one Venture Capitalist financing the research into how to prolong life. He sees death as a problem we may be able to solve. However, this type of scientific research is still considered on the fringe of science and includes growing new organs for human stem cells, creating body parts and using gene therapy to treat hereditary diseases.
Mothers may soon be able to know that they can easily give birth later in life......we are already accepting of surrogates for women who are unable to carry a baby and so it may not be too far off to accept a surrogate simply because a women in her 50's decides she is ready to be a Mother. If you are going to live to be 150, which of those 18 years do you want to stay homebound while rearing a child? Do you want wisdom or physical energy for Motherhood?
There will be much to debate as our society confronts a longer lifespan. If my great-grandmother lived to be 101-years-old and was born before there were airplanes and automobiles, it is natural to accept that soon grandparents will be living past 110. We know how to eat a healthy diet and keep our minds and bodies active to enjoy healthy aging. We have medications and surgeries such as hip-replacements to replace our worn out parts. I could live to be 110 and so could all of my friends. Which also means more years living in Assisted Living communities, most likely, and more years needing a senior caregiver.
Back in the year 1850, the average human lifespan was 43 years. Now the average lifespan is around age 80. And that is "average". More and more of our mothers will definitely be living past the 100-year mark.
One researcher has organized the realities of living longer in this book, "100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith," by Sonia Arrison. She shares that some babies born today may be able to live to be 150 years old.
Enjoy your time being a caregiver to your Mom today, or to someone who is like a mother to you.