The Challenges of an aging Population

Kingwell By Kingwell, 12th Feb 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3csw_92i/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

Thoughts of the positive and negative affects of an aging population on society.

The Challenges of An Aging Population


One of the biggest problems facing society today is an aging population. The average life expectancy in Canada in 1920 was 59 for men and 61 for women. In 2009 the figures were 79 for men and 83 for women. The figures are much the same for the US and are expected to be even higher when we get the results for 2012.If the present trend continues, forty years from now, for the first time in history, there will be more seniors on the earth then there will be children!
In developed countries like the US and Canada, there will be twice as many people over 65 as there will be children and one in every four will be oldsters. One problem is that seniors depend on young people for care and support but what about such things as productivity, pensions and health care? Some European countries have decided to tackle the situation by raising the retirement age. Canada too is phasing in such a system, it would not affect those retiring in the next ten years, but younger people will have to work two years longer before being eligible for the Old Age Assistance. Currently, the retirement age in Canada is 65; in 2023 it will be 67.

One of the positive things about an aging population is of course, that people are living longer and enjoying better health yet on the flip side, by living a long life some may experience illnesses caused by aging which they would not have lived long enough to get 30 years ago!
On the negative side is the fact that the younger generation will have to pay higher taxes and work longer to support the elderly. An aging population could also lead to a shortage of workers since there will be a greater need for such things as retirement homes and caregivers. Some have suggested immigration as a possible solution.
To end on a positive outlook, a declining birth rate would mean a smaller number of young people and hence less money needed for such things as education and youth services.

Tags

Aging Population, Birth Rate, Canada, Children, Europe, Health Care, Life Expectancy, Pensions, Retirement Age, Seniors, Usa

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author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Feb 2013 (#)

People living longer and the declining fertility rate is a global phenomenon. Some issues will be known only when they are on us in full force. I think it will be quite a different world within thirty years - siva

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author avatar Ptrikha
12th Feb 2013 (#)

Aging population in developed countries, and in the developing worl, 15 to 20 years from now onwards, would have both positives and negatives. The best solution is to spread awareness about regular health check ups, and preventive health measures like exercising and de-stressing to the masses, so that people stay fit even when they get older.

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Feb 2013 (#)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Siva, it is very much appreciated. I am enjoying reading your posts.

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Feb 2013 (#)

Thank you Ptrikha. I appreciate your taking time to comment. I will read yor posts as well.

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
12th Feb 2013 (#)

I readily acknowledge that I am aging - but deny the label of beiing 'old.' Perhapos this is just semantics, but it has meaning to me. (BTW, re. music: that sure looks like a guitar sitting next to you in your avatar photo :-}

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Feb 2013 (#)

Hi David, We are all aging but it's often our choice as to whether or not we are'old'. I have a brother and sister older than me and they are both active. Of course I'm not 'old'.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
12th Feb 2013 (#)

I don't feel old and am doing my best to stay fit. Good so far. I am glad I don't have to work and am sorry for those who have to,especially if work is not something they enjoy.

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Feb 2013 (#)

Hi C.D., We don't have to accept the term 'old', especially if we are well. I have a sister who will be 90 next month and lives alone. She takes no medication and is the most positive person I've ever met. Thank you for taking the time to come here and leave a comment.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
13th Feb 2013 (#)

Outstanding points and article, thank you Kingwell...

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author avatar Kingwell
13th Feb 2013 (#)

Thank You Delicia.

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author avatar Vartika
14th Feb 2013 (#)

You have brought up a very relevant subject Mr. Kingwell. Its great news that life expectancy has gone up and it is sad that we expect youth population to decline. Indeed, the skewed ratio of youth:old would be worrisome.
Worth deliberating! Thanks for the share.

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author avatar Kingwell
14th Feb 2013 (#)

Thank you Vartika.

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author avatar Val Mills
14th Feb 2013 (#)

new Zealand is also considering raising the retirement age to 67. meanwhile many older people continue to work either in paid jobs or in a self-employed role.

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author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Ptrikha
18th Mar 2013 (#)

The aspect of more senior population both in developed and developing nations present both positives and negatives. It would require new kind of careers, as well as creation of services where elderly can keep on contributing with their experience and knowledge and probably put less pressure on financial resources of the governments. Yet younger people like us should not give up in terms of respect towards the elderly.

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author avatar Kingwell
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you Ptrikha for sharing andd I'm sure that there are ways that many of the elderly can continue to contribute.

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author avatar Songbird B
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

They are raising the age of retirement here in the UK too Kinwell.. A thoughtful, well written article..

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author avatar Kingwell
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Hi Songbird, Thank you for sharing,

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