Sunday, 10 August 2014

Positive and negative implications of the growing number of elderly people in the population

Due to the innovative research and development of medical science, life expectancy has increased dramatically during the last two centuries. This means that the number of elderly people in the population has an upward tend. (full stop here) Although Since every coin has two sides, a longer lifespan doesn’t necessarily mean s a better well-being for the individuals and the society, as well.

One of the benefits of the elderly a longer lifetime is that people reap the fruits of their retirement, so they don’t need to work and they can spend their time by doing whatever they want/ wish. In practice, lots of pensioners opt to spend time with their families and their grandchildren/  offspring s. Furthermore, retired people have the chance to seize every single day by doing things they had never done before. For example, lots of pensioners have a lot of free time (pastime= hobby) and they can take up new hobbies , or they can travel around the world. From a social standpoint, elderly people could offer voluntary work in concerning many aspects of daily life, such as charities or by mentoring young professionals, which is an immensely crucial issue for the society.
On the other hand, the upbeat headline from initial enthusiasm for the improved life expectancy statistics hides a much more sombre reality for many. It's not just how many years you have left that matters, but how many healthy years. This means that elderly people are not fit enough to (play bowls, let alone go on parachute jumping) to be as active as they desire so as to enjoy life during their retirement. Moreover, due to the grave health problems or physical disabilities that elderly people may face, they can become a burden to their families and to the society, as well. For instance, the children have to look after their parents intensively in case the latter cannot fulfil their basic needs on their own, filling the former with responsibilities. Besides that, if the close relatives cannot afford the hospital care of their parents, the state is required to look after them by hospitalizing or lodging them into nursing homes, which poses an additional financial burden on tax payers. There is one final problem elderly people have to deal with. Hardly a week goes by without another report of the reduced pensions, appearing on the media. It is a fact that pensioners are the easy prey; thus, every time the economy faces an austerity, the pensions drop down sharply, while at the same time inflation goes up and the elderly people are left tackling serious financial problems.

Taking everything into account, people's lifespan has increased faster than the prerequisites for a healthy life expectancy. Thus, I am inclined to believe that if the policy makers address this situation, both society and pensioners will be able to achieve a higher level of prosperity. 

1 comment:

  1. Not bad! We'll discuss the corrections in a few minutes!