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How Will the World Care for Its Rapidly Aging Population?

What's the Latest Development?

The population boom of the modern era--there are about seven billion people today living on the planet, up from two billion in 1920--has resulted in an aging world population. By 2025, the world will have almost 800 million people over the age of 65. About 556 million of them will be in developing countries, another 254 million in developed ones. "There seems to be a consensus that in the last stage of life--old age--most human beings are intensely vulnerable and dependent. But the degree of fragility varies within this segment of the population. There are many millions of people who spend the last stage of their life in very difficult circumstances--poor, ill, alone."

What's the Big Idea?

Since infants and the elderly are generally the most dependent on society for their wellbeing, the aging of large portions of the global demographic poses unprecedented challenges. "Until now, in every region of the world, children, youth and adults dominated the pyramid to different degrees and levels. But this is changing – and this change will in turn lead to a new global society." Presently, however, our institutions are not equipped to provide the support needed by aging populations. "The tendency toward social helplessness and vulnerability of the elderly will continue to increase as economies fall into recession and austerity measures are applied."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Worldcrunch

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