Since the start of modern history, nations around the world have allocated untold time and resources into increasing life...
Since the start of modern history, nations around the world have allocated untold time and resources into increasing life longevity. Science has made many strides, and mankind is reaping the benefits of years of research; people are living longer and its projected that by mid-century, two billion men and women will be over the age of 60 (World Health Organization, 2012). While it is difficult to imagine what could possibly be wrong with this development; it nevertheless begs the question as to whether or not the world is prepared to support an older population.Population ageing is a major contributor to global health costs; furthermore, it is inextricably linked with socio-economic development (World Health Organization, 2012). Several of the implications of an ageing population include an increasing demand for acute and primary health care, straining of pension and social security systems and increasing need for long-term and social care (World Health Organization, 2012). It is important to note that these changes affect countries world-wide, therefore it is indisputably a global health and welfare concern.Initially it is necessary to understand the importance of promoting good health and healthy behaviours at any age in order to offset the strain which an ageing population places on society. Solutions and strategies for this issue are well-known, including but not limited to: taxing tobacco and alcohol, smoke free workplaces and public spaces, reduced salt intake and increased public awareness of the importance of diet and physical activity (World Health Organization, 2012). Nonetheless, we know through our studies on global health promotion that lifestyle modification is only half the battle. Social and environmental changes are equally important, as are social attitudes towards ageing. Perhaps recognizing an older population as an asset rather than a burden is the first step. The World Health Organization (2012) suggests that seniors are considerable social and economic resources, and that if permitted they may be significant contributing members of society.By fighting against ageist stereotypes and barriers on a global scale, and moreover appreciating our ageing population as the valuable members of society they are, this coming shift in demographics may be viewed positively rather than as a detriment to global prosperity.ReferencesWorld Health Organization (2012). Good health adds life to years: Global brief for world health day. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health organization
Apr 11, 2012
Apr 11, 2012
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