6 Major Challenges Facing the Elderly Population Today

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Ageing is an inevitable human process and comes with its own set of challenges – physical, mental and social. Today, global population ageing is taking place rapidly, especially in developed countries that have little time to respond to the impact of such a huge demographic change. It has been estimated that by 2050, the elderly will account for 20 percent of the population in developing countries – which is currently the situation in developed countries. 

In such a situation, the significance of elderly care needs to be highlighted, where health is not the only underlying challenge that seniors are facing or are likely to face in the future. There are several other issues besides health that concern older adults, which need to be played up more as a part of the global discourse on senior care. If you or your loved ones are above the age of 60, then you will be familiar with the age-related challenges that are prevalent in the world today.

Below, we discuss a few issues that the ageing population around the world is facing today.

1. Engagement

In both rural and urban societies, ageism and traditional social standards have resulted in lonely and oppressed older adults. Older adults need to remain significantly active and it is important for their health and the health of our community that we help them to this effect. A fresh and innovative approach is required to not only draw on their experience, but also to offer resources for lifelong learning and positive participation throughout life. 

2. Lack of Physical Infrastructure

A major barrier to providing comfort to the elderly is absence of physical facilities. For senior citizens who are less mobile, for instance, those who need wheelchairs, only few purpose-built nursing homes or even public ramps. Now that lifespan is on the verge of growth and chronic illnesses are on a decline, more older adults in the coming years will require greater access to physical resources – in their own homes, as well as public areas, including highways and shopping malls. 

3. Financial Security

Longevity is increasing and conventional work and retirement models have not sustained their speed. The funding for longevity would include new models, new instruments, and new requirements. There is a pressing need for innovative options for jobs in later life, new frameworks for care planning and finance, and improved methods to put a stop to scams and fraud.

4. Daily Living and Lifestyle

A majority of seniors prefer to ‘age in place’, however, nearly one-third of people over 65 need help with at least one everyday life function, for example eating, bathing and dressing. Products and services are required not only to help sustain the simple everyday activities of older people, but also to encourage and promote their capacity to succeed, follow their interests and participate in their desired lifestyles. 

5. Caregiving

Elderly caregivers who are either informal (unpaid) or formal (paid) provide treatment for seniors Both these brackets of caregivers are highly caring for older adults with higher degrees of acuity and complex disabilities. Family caregivers, who fall in the informal category, require more assistance, training, services and equipment to help them take care of their loved ones and themselves, since they often find themselves juggling between their responsibilities towards their family and job commitments. On the other hand, professional senior care services face challenges like staff shortages and productivity issues. Therefore, innovative ideas are required to help recruit, educate, improve and leverage limited human resources.

Also Read:- 5 Swaps to Make for a Healthier Diet

End of Life

Death is unavoidable, but that doesn’t really help make matters easier when it comes to talking about it or preparing for it. As a result, many older adults still don’t die where they want or how they want, despite their financial efforts in the last year of their life. Families and elderly caregivers need guidance and support when it comes to navigating end-of-life decisions – which means holding tough discussions, and ensuring that the end-of-life desires of senior loved ones are fulfilled.

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