Raymond Tallis

Raymond Tallis is a consultant geriatrician at Hope Hospital in Salford and a professor of geriatric medicine at Manchester University. His most recent book is Epilepsy and Elderly People.

Going, going, gone

Raymond Tallis, 4 April 1996

Ageing can be avoided, but only at the unacceptable cost of dying young. Otherwise, it is inescapable, and it starts younger than we think. If ageing is defined as the sum of those intrinsic processes in the organism that lead to increased probability of death from natural causes, it begins in our early teens and is continuous thereafter. And it picks up speed not only because the physical processes accelerate but also because experienced time is subject to inflation: the successive issues of the London Review of Books that punctuate our trajectory from maternal perineum to council crematorium will seem to come faster and faster.

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