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To wonder how much of the Queen and Prince Phillip's long lives were down to wealth

215 replies

Feofjwonxoaks · 26/09/2022 08:02

To both live to almost 100 without dementia and in relatively good health, until the very end.
Have worked in many care homes and we have a couple of ladies who are 99/100 who are in good spirits and mentally sharp, but this is rare.
It's rare to even make it to this age but most of our residents who are

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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Pengwinn · 26/09/2022 08:58

I think it definitely helps, but some things are hereditary and even masses of money can't stave off something that's in your genes and that there's no known 'cure' for. A combination of wealth meaning good quality nutrition, gold standard healthcare etc and luck.


AFingerofFudge · 26/09/2022 08:58

It's going to be a mix isn't it, of good genes and the privilege of access to immediate healthcare?
I mean, you could have inherited a gene that would leave you predisposed to something and all the best healthcare might not sort that out.

On the odd occasion (thankfully) that I am on the phone trying to get through to the doctors and when I finally do, am offered an appointment for a months time for something that is important but not strictly urgent, I used to think to myself "I bet the Queen doesn't bloody have to wait long"


KimberleyClark · 26/09/2022 08:58

toomuchlaundry · 26/09/2022 08:04

The Queen’s dad (George VI) died young

That was largely lifestyle. He smoked heavily and died from lung cancer.


mustbetheseasonofthewitch · 26/09/2022 08:58

Statistically speaking, most older people don't end up in care homes. So you are really getting a skewed picture of what old age looks like.


Funkyblues101 · 26/09/2022 09:00

Being so active for so long will have helped the Queen keep going. Think of how much many old people slowed down during covid without external stimuli in the form of the company of young people, their social lives, their outings.
Whilst the Queen's work wasn't exactly gruelling, she was busy every single day of her life with a very set morning and evening routine, and a healthy diet without excess. For instance, she (apparently) drank alcohol every day, but would never have been drunk. Unlike her sister.


SarahSissions · 26/09/2022 09:01

It’s down to having interests, drive and a reason to keep on going.
you look at care home residents most have no driving force behind them anymore. Nothing to do.
I would’ve pegged Queen Elizabeth making older bones than Phillip and her mother- but she lost the drive when he died.
when Australia abolished inheritance tax there was a statistically significant change in the rate of deaths as people felt a need to ‘hang on’
dont underestimate people having a reason to live


LadyKenya · 26/09/2022 09:04

JanFeb · 26/09/2022 08:19

Definitely think access to healthcare and having the best produce used to make their meals would have contributed to their long lives.

Yes. Their food is all produced on their own land, and is no doubt all organic. They are not eating a diet full of processed rubbish, and worthless nutrition that's for sure!


Butitsnotfunnyisititsserious · 26/09/2022 09:06

Both of my nans lived into their 90's, up until the last couple of years, they were still cooking, going out places, etc. I think motivation also plays a big part in keeping peoples minds/bodies healthy. Being wealthy helps but it's not going to stop some illnesses such as Dementia. All the money in the world cannot stop that.


dottiedodah · 26/09/2022 09:06

My gdp 95 and had relations living to 101! No health problems just died of old age really. Comfortable but not wealthy


JenniferBarkley · 26/09/2022 09:08

I was a pensions actuary in a former life - yes, there is a link between wealth and health, and wealthy people have significantly higher life expectancy than people who are poor or even of average means.

The reasons behind that are complex, interesting and outside my field of expertise, but the link is undeniable.

Individual anecdotes are just that.


Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g · 26/09/2022 09:15

It might already be visible in stats/records around cause of death, but the generations that smoked a lot must have been hard hit by that in later life. Now that smoking is far less common, I wonder if that will affect life expectancy. Difficult to tease out the effect of that from the new problem of obesity and inactive lifestyles, I expect.


madasawethen · 26/09/2022 09:15

Wealth is linked to better health and higher iq.

If you look at world charts, poor countries have much lower life expectancies, higher childhood mortality, and lower iq.

It doesn't take being super wealthy to be healthy though.
We're fortunate to have good healthcare to use, good sanitation standards, and able to get food.

Lifestyle is the cause of many early deaths. Overeating, obesity, little exercise, drinking, smoking, drugs.


KimberleyClark · 26/09/2022 09:24

LadyKenya · 26/09/2022 09:04

Yes. Their food is all produced on their own land, and is no doubt all organic. They are not eating a diet full of processed rubbish, and worthless nutrition that's for sure!

Plus they have huge houses and endless private land to walk in. That will have helped


womaninatightspot · 26/09/2022 09:27

Im sure excellent diet, lots of fresh air at lovely country estates and top notch medical care helped. That said my great aunt lived to 94 independently and was in fairly good form to the end another great aunt was in her late 80s.

I do think people are in care homes for a reason normally. If they are well enough to be at home/ sheltered accommodation then that’s where they will be. You’re seeing elderly people at the sicker end of the spectrum.


mountainsunsets · 26/09/2022 09:27

Wealth definitely helps.

But both sides of mine and DH's families are long-lived and neither are especially wealthy. I suspect good genes and healthy lifestyles play a bigger part in it then money.


MervynPumpkinhead · 26/09/2022 09:29

I think they had health concerns that as the public we were not made aware of. Phillip certainly was not om good health for several years before his passing.

My grandma is 99 and still lives alone, my grandfather died many years aho.
She is from a council estate in North London and came from a very poor background.
I think it is entirely down to luck and genetics.
I am hoping I don't live to 99, but who knows.


expat101 · 26/09/2022 09:30

My Nan who was was born in the early 1900’s lived well into her 90’s having worked hard, nursed her sick husband and raised 4 kids.

my Dm, her daughter, decided not to exercise and not take doctors advise, and now lives a life in a wheel chair at a much younger age with nurses changing her incontenance pads. She has a form of mental decline, not quite full on dementia, but has long shut herself off having any interest in outside life.

I think the Queen, and my Nan, were born of a much different era and age. I long suspect if my Nan saw her DD today, she would be kicking her right up the rump… as I suspect the Queen might like to with some of hers too.


orchiopera · 26/09/2022 09:37

Working in care homes you won't get a balanced view of elderly peoples health though really. I've worked in care homes as well as home care and now working in a busy radiology department in an NHS hospital. We have inpatients/outpatients/a&e patients in their 90's come in fit as a fiddle, hop up onto the xray table, sharp minds and not too many ailments. Then we get people in their 40's/50's/60's who can barely move. My own grandparents were not well off people but all lived into their mid to late 90's. Good nutrition, lifestyle and genetics play a massive part in elderly health. The Queen obviously had access to very very good healthcare but she wasn't unusually old or sharp for her age group.


DorchaAndLouis · 26/09/2022 09:38

I think living to a great age may be genetic. I remember reading somewhere about a "longevity gene".
My grandmother was born a month before the Queen.
She's still living independently, can't walk far due to arthritis but manages to look after herself. Loves reading , uses her iPad to email family, food shopping etc.
She had a very hard life, not much money, 6 children and an abusive husband. Heavy smoker until she gave up in her 60's.


DixonD · 26/09/2022 09:40

You’re forgetting (or not realising) that the majority of people do not end up in care. Your sample size is very small.

My great grandmother died at 98. Not in care.

I’m 40 and still have three grandparents left.

All are 89/90 and 91 and not one is in care. None have dementia of any kind. The eldest, my 91 year old grandfather, still goes on cruises.


KimberleyClark · 26/09/2022 09:42

My maternal great grandmother lived until she was 94 (family record). She lost her sight but remained sharp mentally. Absolutely not wealthy, rural poor. Her daughter my grandmother lived until she was 85. Had chronic bronchitis since a child, but otherwise mentally sharp. Again definitely not wealthy. She basically took to her bed and eventually succumbed to pulmonary embolism. My mother lived until 93. Had dementia for last 10 years of her life and zero quality of life at time of death. Prior to diagnosis she had lived a healthy lifestyle.


ChangedNameAgain99 · 26/09/2022 09:44

I lived to spend time with and loved 3 of my Great Grandmothers and one Great Grandfather all died well into their 90s and one Great Grandmother was 104.

They all grew up with similar active lives. Born in India, mainly vegetarian diets, physical jobs. Lots of mental trauma but they remained active til their dying day. In fact my Great Grandfather was digging away in his garden sat on his bench and died. So peaceful.

good food, fresh air and limited health problems.


Icanstillrecallourlastsummer · 26/09/2022 09:45

Of course.

Healthy lifestyle and diet is MUCH easier to achieve with wealth. So is excellent medical care. It's no secret that richer demographics have a much longer life expectancy than poorer ones.


CredibilityProblem · 26/09/2022 09:48

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g · 26/09/2022 09:15

It might already be visible in stats/records around cause of death, but the generations that smoked a lot must have been hard hit by that in later life. Now that smoking is far less common, I wonder if that will affect life expectancy. Difficult to tease out the effect of that from the new problem of obesity and inactive lifestyles, I expect.

Premature deaths due to heart disease have plummeted in the past fifty years, they're less than half what they were.

Do you remember the time when we were told that one in four of us would get cancer in our lifetime, then one in three, now one in two? The difference is largely accounted for by the people who no longer die of heart attacks in their fifties and sixties, and now live long enough to get prostate or breast cancer in their eighties.

Some of that change is due to reduction is smoking, a lot of it is due to improved medical treatment.


Inkanta · 26/09/2022 09:48

Wealth helps, and good nutrition, genes, no smoking and no heavy drinking I think keeps you well. Maybe being in a good supportive relationship helps or maybe its not essential. And being relatively content and happy and have some purpose in your life.

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