People’s longer life expectancies are indeed a blessing, considering the dismal life expectancy brought about by calamity, wars, and other health issues
Aging is a trend both in developed and developing countries. In fact, 1 out of 9 people are 60 years and above. This is estimated to rise to 2 billion by 2050. This trend has raised challenges that were noted by the U.N. Population Fund in a report it released last Monday. The report said that governments must summon their political will to take concrete measures to protect older people and ensure their good health, dignity, safety and mobility.
For one, governments should ensure safety nets for older people—ensuring access to health and social services. Currently, only 1/5 of workers get comprehensive social insurance, according to the International Labor Organization
Another problem is that older adults in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and the USA are required to pay more for their pensions than they actually receive—on top of proportionately paying more in taxes.
There is also a need to change the bias of mass media in the portrayal of advanced age as a time of decline when in fact, older people are highly productive and tend to enjoy their lives more in advanced age.
The report also criticized the prevailing view that older workers should pave the way for younger professionals, saying that the idea is based on the erroneous notion that there are limited jobs for older people and the younger generation to fill.
Currently, assistance to the elderly comes from religious groups and the improvement of public facilities to help the mobility-impaired. This is especially true in the case of Canada.