Healthcare and the Aging Population

Demographic change is a major issue at the present time. The healthcare infrastructure of every country is straining to keep up with the aging of worldwide population. This presents gargantuan challenges. No wonder many countries are opting for solutions which will fit their unique problems. They find solutions through analyzing people and communities. Private companies have also pitched in. Many business concerns have formulated wonderful solutions to complex problems. These can only be achieved through many years of hardcore research on caring for the elderly.

Rise of the elderly

Experts all over the world agree that healthcare challenges are one of the main issues which will be encountered in the future. The number of individuals entering the elderly age zone (above 60 years) from 2015 to 2030 will increase by 56 percent. It will rise from the present 900 million to almost 1.5 billion. The worldwide population of people older than 60 years by 2050 is anticipated to jump to about two billion. When it comes to the United States, the number of US citizens is anticipated to rise from 50 million in 2018 to about 100 million in 2060. Right now, the United States is ranked among the top countries in the world when it comes to the parameters of accessing healthcare and the quality of life.

Other than the US, the population of South American and Central American countries are also aging. Every country in these two regions will show a sharp increase in population aged 60 and above. The Caribbean region displays similar demographic variations. Compounding the problem is the falling fertility rates resulting in reduced births. The same signs are prevalent in the European continent. The continent has its own problems amplified by the 2008 era global financial crisis.

Reduced benefits

Governments of Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain were forced to reform their respective pension systems post crisis. The retirement age was raised and number of benefits restricted. Resources allocated for social care and healthcare were much reduced.

In populous countries like China and India, the challenges are massive due to the huge number of elderly people. To illustrate, the elderly population in China is anticipated to rise from eight percent in 2018 to 24 percent by 2048. All countries of any economic strata are vulnerable to this change. Chronic illnesses put a huge strain on the health systems of every country. On a unit level, the fiscal burden of caring for an elderly person is compounded by the burden of emotion.

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