In the Developed World, Average Life Expectancy Is Increasing. What Problems Will This Cause for Individuals and Society? Suggest Some Measures that Could Be Taken to Reduce the Impact of Ageing Populations.
Life expectancy is a person’s expected life span, denoted at his birth. Compared to the past, a person’s life expectancy has markedly increased in the developed and developing world. This could be attributed to the development of modern health facilities with modernization, which prevent premature deaths of infants and children and prolongs elders’ lives with modern health care and other facilities.
Though increased life expectancy is a good indicator to measure the development of a country or a society, invariably, it has its consequences due to increased demands of facilities and resources. This essay will discuss the problems of increased life expectancy on individuals, such as reduced quality of life and on society, such as limited resources and facilities. Also, it will discuss possible measures to reduce these impacts, such as introducing new policies and expanding resources.
With the availability of modern healthcare facilities, most people can now experience an extended life, even with disabilities and diseases. Consequently, although some have extended their life span, their quality of life has markedly reduced. Some have lost their loved ones and living with boredom, and some have no proper income as they are no longer employed. Some merely live with the support of medicines and medical procedures with no quality of life. What is the value of a mere extension of one or two years of a suffering life?
Therefore the impact of prolonged life on an individual will be detrimental if there are no avenues to overcome the shortcomings. As the elderly population rises, society has to face many issues. There is an increased demand for resources such as food, accommodation, health care, employment etc. There could be instances where an elderly has to compete with a youth to have access to a limited resource such as ICU beds. A government has to spend more on the welfare and maintenance of the ageing population, and this cost would be significant to a country in the developing world. On the other hand, we cannot ignore this population and their needs and consider them a burden to society. It’sIt’s a mere violation of their fundamental right to live.
Therefore, it is really important to have a proper agenda and policies for a country or a society to mitigate the impact of the ageing population and to enhance the quality of life of the elderly. The government can implement welfare programs to facilitate their health expenses, living cost and basic needs. Elderly homes and nursing homes can be established to look after elders living alone or who cannot be looked after at home for various reasons. Elderly people should have equal access to the facilities like health care and transport.
Therefore national-level policies should be planned to expand the resources of facilities available while ensuring equal and fair access to all individuals in society, including the elderly. And it is a timely need to meet the unmet needs of an ageing population and ensure these people’s life satisfaction.
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