This overall increase was reflected in a rise in the death rates attributed to 4 of the 10 leading causes of death: Alzheimer’s disease (119 percent), hypertension (88 percent), chronic lower respiratory diseases (34 percent) and unintentional injuries (33 percent).
Three of the top causes of death actually saw a decrease: influenza and pneumonia (48 percent), stroke (31 percent) and heart disease (24 percent). Interestingly, this declining rate does not seem to be holding true for all age groups as the CDC recently reported the first rise in American death rates in a decade across the board.
The general trends reflected by the 100+ population seem to reflect the overall trend in increased longevity among the 65+ population due to healthier lifestyles, medical advances and decreased level of poverty among seniors over the past 75 years. Astute gift planners will no doubt make subtle adjustments to their stewardship programs to maintain contacts with older donors and planned gift expectancies for several decades of this third stage of life. Recognition of longevity of giving, cumulative lifetime giving and number of gifts, in addition to recency of giving and gift amounts, will provide additional metrics to assist in this regard. ■