This is pt. 5 of my rather odd vision of the year 2111
The future of: The Family
With the progress of medicine, life threatening diseases will be fighting a losing battle. Immortality will be something in working progress, and there'll be much of a financial strain for families whose elderly relatives simply won't do the graceful thing, and die.
Nuclear families will be back due to fiscal necessity, although it will be more like living with ancestors rather than relatives -- it won't just be parents complaining about the loud music, but great, great grandparents. For many, children will be outstaying their welcome due to housing shortages, in not by weeks, but by generations.
UK centenarians in the year 2111 won't be receiving a telegram to celebrate their longevity, because it'll no longer be financially viable to send out so many letters, although they may receive a rather faceless email. The 100-year-old won't be stuck in a chair dribbling tea, but still at work and feeling no different to they did 75 years previous, and with people living so long state pensions won't be applicable until the worker has reached their 110th birthday.
You may imagine that if by this time the proper old-timers could be reaching ages of 130/140, and that all around the world there are people so wrinkly that they don't resemble humans at all, more like aliens that have been in the microwave too long. But the cosmetics giants will have figured out how to make anti-aging creams that actually do something, maybe even do some of the things they already promise and restore some young back into old skin. They won't have a choice but to pull their scientific fingers out otherwise they will go out of business, because when everybody is practically ancient, it's hardly going to be much of an issue having a few crow's feet. Old people will show their age in wisdom, and not of their scary faces.
So far, as people age it isn't just the face that suffers, but in the rest of the body; hips wear out, the spine curves, the organs give up. And then there are other issues such as Alzheimer's. But the future will change this too. All organs will be harvested using stem-cell technology, or even made on 3-D printers so a life-saving operation can be performed in the time it takes to eat a baked potato. But, more likely is something that'll avoid an operation in the first place. Having cancer, liver disease or pancreatitis will be dealt with by means of a pill, it will be stress-free and not in the slightest bit risky. GlaxoSmithKline are rubbing their collective hands together already.
To put things further into perspective; the 100-year-old will look half of their actual age, be free of any old-age disadvantage, have an active mind and body, and the prospect of another hundred or even more years to go. In fact, with everything so easily fixable, what is to stop them from living another nine-hundred years?
One obvious problem of course will be over-population, even without the prospect of nobody dying the population is ever-growing. A solution will be agreed though.
Solution: having babies will be costly. Having more than two children won't be illegal, but you'll be expected to pay an extra 15% income tax. Or, for the unemployed, a cut in benefits that'll make the buying of lottery tickets and scratch cards a pleasure that can no longer be afforded.
Not only will having more than one push you into poverty, but you'll be unpopular too -- the idea that some abuse the population-control recommendations will disgust those concerned with space, and space will be precious.
Many will choose to live their lives without the responsibility of children until they are bored with absolutely everything else first, as women won't become out-of-service like they do now, and as attitudes change, people will be saying, "it can never be too late, but it can be too early" or something like that.
Population control is something we will return to later, with an idea that'll beat the irresponsible out of would-be parents so much, they'll be scared to even have sex. g4rdenspoon facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/G4rdenspoon/284634921659121?ref=stream