Each generation has always had its own thoughts and ideas of the generations preceding and following them. But for the first time in history, the numbers of the aging generation, the seniors, are exploding. According to statistics, the numbers are staggering: 900 million adults age 60 and older currently worldwide, and this is expected to rise to 2 billion in the next 20 to 30 years.
We’ve heard much in the news about how aging is affecting the U.S. population, but what about the rest of the world, in countries that are less developed, where health care and social services may be lacking? What is happening there and how is the aging population affecting them?
Let’s take a look at some of these assumptions that we may have about aging and the realities behind them:
- Assumption: Developed countries will be hit the hardest by aging challenges. Reality: Actually, according to Dr. Linda P. Fried, geriatrician and dean of the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, China’s population of elderly is about to surpass that of the U.S. It’s anticipated that by 2050, third-world countries will have shifted from a population of mostly younger residents to an equal number of young and old.
- Assumption: Cities are for the young. Reality: While cities have a long way to go in improving accessibility and age-friendliness issues, urban populations are steadily aging – by one estimate, up to 16 times more elderly in cities worldwide by 2050. The World Health Organization is taking steps to make life easier for seniors in cities through its Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities project – such as reinstalling bus stop benches that had previously been removed in New York City.
- Assumption: Chronic diseases of aging impact the wealthiest nations. Reality: Surprisingly, it’s the less developed countries that are battling the most cases of diabetes and heart disease, along with diseases related to smoking and alcohol; and, the vast majority (88%) of health conditions related to environmental issues.
- Assumption: Families value the elderly in other cultures, so care is superior. Reality: In both Africa and India, for example, there’s an assumption that elders are revered and cared for by family members; but sadly, as many as one in five Nigerian elders require care from family, but are not receiving it. And, because of limited resources, family care that is available is “severely compromised,” according to Isabella Aboderin of the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
Clearly, the effects of aging are reverberating around the globe. In the U.S., there are professional home care agencies, like Regency Home Care, that are positioned to provide the quality care and solutions needed by seniors who may need home care services. Services provided by Regency Home Care can help seniors maintain their independence as long as possible by helping them manage their medical, health, and everyday needs, such as medication reminders, light housekeeping, meal planning, and companionship.
Serving the entire metro Atlanta area including Buckhead, Brookhaven, Vinings, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell, Marietta, Cumming and Lawrenceville, a professional consultation is a phone call or email message away. Contact us at 678-999-2446 or use this contact form.