Population Aging

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Development of the American Economy. Economic Fluctuations and Growth. International Finance and Macroeconomics. International Trade and Investment.

Population Aging

Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. To conduct, carry out and analyze the interviews that took place between June and July of , the seven stages of research proposed by Kvale were applied. The analysis of each question in the interviews was carried out using the meaning condensation technique, where formulations were constructed based on the responses of each of the respondents, the units of natural meanings are determined based on the content expressed by each subject, the core issues are determined in relation to the natural units and an essential description of the themes identified in the interview is performed, as defined by Kvale.

The research complied with ethical standards and the databases are public domain, requiring publication of the source of data. The elderly population is rising dramatically in Brazil, based on the concept of the World Health Organization which considers a person to be elderly at 60 years of age or older if residing in a developing country. In , life expectancy was only With this profile, for every children 0 to 14 years of age , Brazil had approximately 11 elderly people table 1.

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In table 1 , with the doubling of life expectancy almost 74 years of age , Associated with this, there is an increase in the aging index and a reduction in the dependency ratio. Population estimates by the IBGE Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics indicate that the participation of elderly people will reach approximately With the number of elderly people increasing in relation to the young, it is estimated that there will be an inversion of the relation between young and old, with elderly people for every people under 15 years of age table 1.

The transition in birth and mortality rates, from high to low, made major changes in population structure part of the demographic transition debate. The country is aging at an alarming pace. Changes in population structure are clear and irreversible. Since the s, the highest rates of population growth have been observed among the elderly. Contrary to what has occurred in many developed countries, in Brazil, as seen in this text, the aging process has been extremely rapid. In the interviews carried out, it was affirmed that the country is not prepared to meet the needs generated by this aging of the population.

According to one of the interviewees, only in recent years has the country directed its efforts to long-term policies, while being faced with emergency demands at the same time. According to the World Health Organization, 13 the aging of the population is one of the greatest triumphs of humanity and yet also one of the major challenges to be faced by society.

In the 21 st century, aging will increase social and economic demands across the world. However, despite being greatly ignored, the elderly should be considered essential to the structure of societies. In its report on aging in the 21st century, the United Nations Population Fund 14 stressed that although many countries have made substantial progress in adapting their policies and laws, it is necessary to direct more efforts to ensure that older people can reach their potential.

There was consensus among the interviewees that an aging population requires the urgent introduction of policies appropriate to their needs. The growth of the elderly population and increased life expectancy at birth, already discussed, represent major challenges for the country. Some interviewees pointed out, for example, the challenge to be faced by the social security system to adapt to the new demographic reality of Brazil.

For the system to better adapt to the process of aging of the population". Brazil has already implemented some changes and these are objects of great political debates, but surely, you can't maintain the same social security system created for a society in which life expectancy was 55 years, for a society with a life expectancy of 75 years of age [ The number of elderly grew In the same period, the number of active benefits, with the exception of pensions granted by the Ministry of Welfare, expanded by This scenario of rapid aging has generated considerable pressure on the pension system, which had been organized to meet a demand represented by the increase in official employment and the brevity of the retirement period.

The changes that have taken place in the demographic structure, have increased the pressure on social protection systems, mainly due to the fall in the number of the contributing population in relation to the increasing number of those who retire. According to Costa et al. In , as previously mentioned, there were It is estimated that in , this number will have doubled, representing This new demographic reality, with a constantly growing number of elderly people, also requires that the health system has the capacity to respond to current and future demands.

So the preparation of the health system as a whole to meet this growing demand is a major challenge". In addition, elderly people can acquire disease, disabilities and sequelae that require integrated actions in the health system. As previously analyzed, the results related to morbidity and mortality rates show part of the complex epidemiological profile experienced by Brazilian society table 3. Although they are still the cause of a significant number of hospital morbidities among the elderly in Brazil, a reduction in hospitalizations due to cardiovascular illnesses, respiratory and nutritional and metabolic endocrine diseases can be observed.

This decrease may reflect the expansion and improved quality of primary care services in the country. On the other hand, a significant and growing number of hospitalizations due to cancer and external causes was identified, demonstrating the heterogeneous epidemiological scenario of Brazil. This profile represents a major challenge, especially with rapid population aging, as according to Omram, 16 in the third stage of the epidemiological transition, the main causes of death are non-communicable chronic diseases such as heart and cerebrovascular diseases and cancers that tend to cause death close to the age believed to be the end of the biological life limit.

Population ageing

According to Schimdt et al. The country has introduced significant policies related to preventative actions, but due to the behavior and history of most risk factors, the challenge remains to carry out timely actions and introduce policies to deal with this problem.

Dealing with this complex profile of necessities requires a continuous and multidisciplinary organization of care from the health system, updating the work process, ensuring that health services and actions are carried out that promote the health and well-being of this elderly population on a permanent basis. This is mainly because of the association between the aging population and the increased demand for specialist and high cost care. The elderly population requires specific care, often specialized and directed towards the peculiarities that arise from the aging process, without segregating them from the society.

One of the types of assistance, hospital care, should therefore be organized to meet the needs generated by this aging population. The total number of beds and hospital admissions underwent a reduction in the period analyzed.

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While the total number of beds decreased The exception was the growth in ICU beds The proportion of the elderly population in the U. Table 1 About Here. Population aging has the following notable features: For example, in the United States , there were The female to male ratio increases with age reaching for persons 85 and over. Projections of population aging in the 21 st century. Future population aging will depend on future demographic trends, but most demographers agree that the fertility and mortality changes that would be required to reverse population aging in the coming decades are very unlikely.

According to current population forecasts, population aging in the first half of this century should exceed that of the second half of the 20 th century. For the world as a whole, the elderly will grow from 6. In other words, the world average should then be higher than the current world record. All regions are expected to see an increase, although it should be milder in some regions, such as Africa where the projected increase is from 3. But in Latin America and the Caribbean , the increase should be from 5. The increase should be even more spectacular in China: If population aging is thus far from limited to the most developed regions, the countries of these regions will likely continue to experience the highest proportions ever known.

Ageing Population

The forecasts suggest Again, the forecasted increase from There is of course some uncertainty with any forecast, but it is important to note that previous population forecasts underestimated rather than overstated the current pace of population aging. Before the s the process of population aging was considered as an exclusive consequence of fertility decline and it was predicted that the pace of population aging would decrease after stabilization of fertility rates at some low levels. Rapid decline in old-age mortality observed in developed countries in the last decades of the 20 th century significantly accelerated population aging.

Now the old-age mortality trends are becoming the key demographic component in projecting the size and composition of the world's future elderly population. Current and future uncertainties about changing mortality may produce widely divergent projections of the size of tomorrow's elderly population. For example, the U. Census Bureau's middle-mortality series projection suggests that there will be Alternative projections, using assumptions of lower death rates and higher life expectancies, have produced estimates from While population aging represents, in one sense, a success story for mankind massive survival to old ages has become possible , it also poses profound challenges to public institutions that must adapt to a changing age structure.

The first challenge is associated with dramatic increase in the older retired population relative to the shrinking population of working ages, which creates social and political pressures on social support systems. In most developed countries, rapid population aging places a strong pressure on social security programs. Cuts in benefits, tax increases, massive borrowing, lower cost-of-living adjustments, later retirement ages, or a combination of these elements are now discussed as the possible painful policies, which may become necessary in order to sustain the pay-as-you-go public retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.


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Population aging is also a great challenge for the health care systems. The aging of the population is indeed a global phenomenon that requires international coordination of national and local actions. The United Nations and other international organizations developed recommendations intended to mitigate the adverse consequences of population aging. These recommendations include reorganization of social security systems, changes in labor, immigration and family policies, promotion active and healthy life styles, and more cooperation between the governments in resolving socioeconomic and political problems posed by population aging.

On the positive side, the health status of older people of a given age is improving over time now, because more recent generations have a lower disease load. Older people can live vigorous and active lives until a much later age than in the past and if they're encouraged to be productive, they can be economic contributors as well. Also the possibility should not be excluded that current intensive biomedical anti-aging studies may help to extend the healthy and productive period of human life in the future de Grey et al.

A Profile of Older Americans: Department of Health and Human Services. De Grey, Aubrey D.


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