AC Shared good article:
Care for the Elderly
Ethics at the Twilight of Life: Our Obligation To The Elderly
Did you know that:
■ Some 20 percent of all people who have ever lived past age 65 are alive now!
■ In 1860, half the population of the United States was under age 20, and the vast majority of the population was not expected to live to age 65.
■ From 1990 to 1996, the number of Americans 65 or older increased elevenfold (from 3.1 million to 33.9 million). The overall percentage of the population 65 and older increased from 4.1 to 12.8
■ In 1940, just 7 percent of those age 65 would survive to age 90; by 2050, the number will climb to an astonishing 42 percent!
■ In just 30 years, the number of people in the United States over 65 will more than double to reach 70 million people!
■ Such growth means that nearly 1 in 5 Americans will fit this category, up from 1 in 100 in 1900.
The significance of our aging population goes far beyond seeing more gray hair in the supermarket checkout lines. Elderly people often fall prey to chronic diseases that, more often than not, don’t kill outright, but leave the sufferers with pain, difficulty in performing routine tasks, and in need of health care that calls for both increased dollars and specialized personnel. As our society becomes more “gray,” who will foot the increasing medical bills for the elderly? Furthermore, such longevity has steadily increased the gap between retirement and death. Designed for a time when death followed quickly on the heels of leaving one’s job, will Social Security be there for future generations?