Longer human lives have led to a global burden of late-life disease. However, some older people experience little ill health, a trait that should be extended to the general population. Interventions into lifestyle, including increased exercise and reduction in food intake and obesity, can help to maintain healthspan. Altered gut microbiota, removal of senescent cells, blood factors obtained from young individuals and drugs can all improve late-life health in animals. Application to humans will require better biomarkers of disease risk and responses to interventions, closer alignment of work in animals and humans, and increased use of electronic health records, biobank resources and cohort studies.