The Facts About Aging



The various aspects of aging and the many challenges posed by an aged society

Populations are aging throughout the world, but particularly in European countries and the USA, and this has far-reaching effects.

Projected figures for future trends in the age structure of the population give the overwhelming impression that the picture differs considerably from one part of the world to another. The mature societies are represented by the European nations, where there is a low rate of population growth, a low birth-rate, a hitherto steep rise in the numbers of older people during the present century but a leveling out with a shift within the retired population towards a much greater proportion of ‘old old’ (75- or 80-plus) rather than ‘young old’ (65-plus) during the latter years of the century. There are worries about the size of the future work-force and its capacity to fulfill the labor-intensive and generally poorly remunerated task of supporting the frail and aged members of society.

The other side of the coin is seen among the developing nations, whose population is continuing to climb. The birth-rate remains high but infant and childhood mortality is falling, so improved survival ensures rising numbers of people living into their late 60s and beyond. Numbers of ‘old old’ are yet to soar dramatically. The main anxieties about this scenario are centered around the inter-generational friction that old members of these societies will face in competing with the expanding numbers of younger people for the very limited resources available. The nations of the New World are experiencing continued population expansion due largely to immigration which swells the young age-groups, and at the same time a shift among the older sections of the populace towards more advanced ages so there will be greater numbers of persons of advanced age. There remain exceptional countries like China whose massive experiment in demographic regulation (one child per family) is likely to lead to unforeseen consequences, depending on the degree of the compliance of the Chinese people.

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Age-Related Psychiatric Problem

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“Normal” Aging


Posted by Carol Hudgens