Dr. Robert N. Butler is the President and CEO of the International Longevity Center. Whether through his many appearances in front of the United States Congress, or his hundreds of interviews with the media, Dr. Butler has worked tirelessly for decades to push population-aging issues into the public discourse. As a gerontologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Butler recognized discrimination against the elderly as early as 1968, coining the term "ageism." Eight years later, the publication of his Pulitzer-prize-winning "Why Survive? Being Old in America" solidified his reputation as someone who foresaw the impact that aging would have on American society. A founding director of the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, as well as the nation's first department of geriatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Butler often consults for television and radio. He is the author of some 300 scientific and medical articles. Source: The International Longevity Center
Question: What will our hospital system look like when the last baby boomers retire?
Robert Butler: In the first place, I think we shouldn't have this many people in the hospitals. I think we can do much more outpatient care and we have already seen that happen quite wonderfully. I mean cataracts are now like an hour in the outpatient department and then to your home. So, I think we are going to have to do much more care that keeps people at home and not in the hospital.
Topics: Ideas for better health as one ages
Robert Butler: They better go to work on their diets. Since the reason this is the fattest country in the world is because of the baby boomers. They are fat and they are still smoking, at least half of them are and they aren’t saving their money and they are not exercising despite the notion that baby boomers that are out there are physically exercising, they are really not. So, they have a lot to do and they could do it, but it is going to be tough for them to suddenly change their lives [Inaudible] the oldest ones, 12,000 [Inaudible] that will become 62 today.
Recorded on: Mar 17 2008