September 26, 2012
There are many people that believe that the aging population will burden Social Security funds, that they will take away money from the younger population and that the services that they will need will burden the economy and raise taxes. The baby boomer population is getting older, and in my lifetime there will be a disproportionate number of people over sixty-five because of declining birth rates but mostly because there are a lot of people in the middle of their lives that are getting older. I find that people who put blame on a certain part of the population don't really see the bigger picture. They should instead look to their government to prevent a future without debates over what to do and who to blame.
Better management by government can support a better life for the elderly and even lead them to becoming important contributors to society. Societies all around the world are getting older, we are looking at a revolution of longevity. The more advanced our society is in terms of health care and social practices that ward off disease, the more people will live longer. With an older population we need to adjust our society to fit all needs including those of the elderly. We need to rethink the value of the elderly.
Abuse of the elderly is rampant all over the world. Most of the abuse in inflicted by family members and people that are supposed to be providing care for them but there are reasons for this. There are a lot of people living pay check to pay check and don't have the patience or financial capabilities to support a family member that does not help with expenses. Also, at nursing homes where a lot of the elderly are placed in after they have become too much of a burden, the facilities are not properly staffed or not staffed fully. I've considered why abuse happens to older people, it happens because of how we view them. We see them as being useless and expired; if we change our attitudes then abuse wouldn't be so high.
The elderly can be part of society instead of being considered a burden to it. They can be a part of the workforce. We don't have to consider them expired as human beings after a certain age. A lot of elderly people do not want to retire at sixty-five; they want to feel like they are a part of something. They want to do something worthwhile and not feel like they are being pushed aside.
As a global community we must figure out how we are going to deal with our aging population. Most of the over sixty-five population will live in the undeveloped world. This will create very different issues for those countries than for developed nations. If the issues that might occur in developed nations are fathoming, the issues there will be far more severe. But what I am trying to get at is that if we just change our viewpoint then the elderly won't have to be marginalized. If our medical advances continue, we might even begin to get older and older, and sixty five won't be considered "old" for very long. Then obviously the world will be a different place. It wasn't very long ago that old meant living to your mid thirties or early forties. We have come a long way in not even two-hundred years, we are living longer and our structure of the world must change to accommodate this revolution.