Medical service has advanced for over years and years. A few centuries ago, unlicensed physicians performed surgery without professional tools; however, in this era, it is illegal to do so. Along with the advancement of treatments and hospitals, the average life expectancy has skyrocketed. In South Korea, women now live an average of six years longer and men live five years longer. Moreover, in Japan – the country with the longest life expectancy – women live up to a little over 86 years old and men live up to 79 years old.
As people are living longer, there are also changes in policies dealing with the growth of the aging population throughout the world. In Sweden – a Scandinavian nation that has approximately 20.26 percentage of 65 and over people throughout their whole population – there has been an uprising interest for senior care. According to Sweden Sverige, the government recently invested $458,788,500 to ameliorate their system of elderly care.
This investment brought an improvement in transportation, home care, and the Swedish pension system. Specifically, it became more convenient for the elderly to travel since there is an increased number of specially-adapted vehicles eligible for one person. Before, when there were inadequate specialized vehicles, it was arduous for them to be active and go to different places easily.
Also, the revised pension system allows most to relieve worries about monetary problems. In fact, around 71 percent of pensioners’ income is from the superannuation itself. Recently, Sweden has been debating whether or not to prolong the overall working age (retirement age) of people in order for them to spend time by doing the work that they enjoy. Despite their well-designed programs, like any other countries, Sweden is still striving to find out a better way to deal with the annually rocketing population of 65 and older people.
In Japan – an Asian nation where one in five people are above 70 years old – they have already gone through numerous transformations in policies linked to their aging population. Due to their super-aged society, there have been a myriad of problems: the crime rate of seniors increased, more of the old became poor, and insufficient working people led to an economic crisis.
As an alternative, the Japanese government devised several policies that would unravel this colossal social challenge and programs that the elderly would benefit from. One of their bold steps included enabling people to work until they become 70 years old. As a consequence, the number of crimes committed by 65 and above people slightly abated because they were able to make their own money and spend their time productively.
Furthermore, in terms of their health care, robots became sophisticated enough to become pals to lonely seniors. These robots could clean the house (including doing the dishes), deliver food from the refrigerator, monitor one’s health state, and even have some conversations. Similar to Sweden, although Japan has concocted better plans to handle their super-aging population, there are still steps left for the government for outdoing future.
In the future, the number of Americans that are 65 and older are projected to more than double by 2060. As the aging society is imminent, the US government should make bolder plans to prevent later problems associated with this.
Soyeon Park, Grade 10
Tesoro High School