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Soc aging- Mature.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Markus Schafer

SocAging Mature societies: panning for our future selves  western europe now has more people over age 60 than under 15  asia will follow by 2040, then americas  asia will move through it in less than25 years  by 2050 more people globally will be over 50 than under 15  population aging is staggering  by 2030 nearly half of western europe will be over 50 , with a life expectancy at 50 of another 40 years – half of the population will be 50 and 100, a quarter over 65 – 15 percent 75  two thirds of the world's older population already resides in developing countries – expected to double in 25 years under a billion and increase 2 billion by the middle of the century  the majority of these individuals are already born  we tomorrow’s elderly  many people mistakenly believe that population aging is the result of the baby boom generation moving its way up the population pyramid.  Rather, demographic maturing is a global trend that heralds longer term shifts in individuals and societal behaviours – changes that are likely to restructure societies for much of the foreseeable future  maturing trend is a dramatic decline in fertility and increases in the normal life span  mid 1980s western style countries were experiencing historically low fertility levels  initially calendar measures of fertility indicated a plateu in reproduction during 1930 to 40 what we consider the end of the classical demographic transition- before a further drop below replacement level occurred  generational measures reveal that fertility levels have been continuously declining, even thorough the end of the transition  low fertility seem to be characteristic of postindustrial societies: fertility in europe for example remains below the replacement level of 2.1, despite increase in some countries toward the end of the 20 century  the past two decades also seen a steady fall in fertility in Asia and LatinAmerica  the total fertility rate, the number of children a women of reproductive age will bear in ether life has now dropped  maximum life span has remained more or less constant, 20 century social, economic and medical innovation have also enabled more people to achieve the maximum life span  the second longest lived person was born in 1701- life span of 113 years --- at the same period, British centurions alive at any one time was in the hundreds –this figure has increased to seven thoughsand predicated by 2050 - ALSO for japan  currently the world has two hundred, 65 thousands centurions by 2050 it will ave 38 million  overall life expectancy has improved  there is evidence of rectangulization of the life curve in the west with growing percentage of the population reaching out toward the current maximum life span  example: 1880 a female baby expect to live to 46, her great grand grand daughter born one hundred years later can expect to live 78. her baby 44 and his great grandson 71  eventual convergence of the maximum and normal life span should be seen as a great success  most individuals born in society to reach the natural limit to human life in good health, with few frailties is a major achievement for any -- the achievement of civilization – for then we would have conquered poverty, disease, famine, and war  we feel the impact of associated with demographic aging, failing fertility and mortality and increasing longevity ad those contributing to it- advances in living standards, education and public health and medicine  population influences decisions making, individual, national and international  the social economic and political areas that this shift may affect include: the labour market, saving and consumption patterns, family and household structure, social interaction and networks , demands for health, welfare service, supply for housing and transportation  individuals and government in both developed and developing countries must understand the reality of population aging in order to plan societal frameworks and policies appropriate for demographic challenges and opportunities ahead Currently the demographic burden hypothesis dominates public rhetoric - focus on the four myths 1) first see western health care system folding under the strain of caring for growing number of older people 2) fears the ration of workers to retirees will become so lopsided that many western economies will collapse 3) envisions families as loose, multigenerational, collection of individuals, experiencing more emotional strain, as fewer children are available to take care of elderly parents 4) mistakenly believes that aging is a feature of the developed world alone, with little relevance to developing countries  aging population raises concern in increasing health and social care cost  US forecast, for example show health care cost accounting for almost 33 percent of GDP by 2030  a number of cross-national studies have considered the determination health care cost but one only has found population age structure –a population of 65 and over-- responsible log with income lifestyle characteristic and environmental factors  “” Reason : false rhetoric lies with the methodologies used in some research studies  the current patterns use is a simplified way of assessing age cost effects, ignores the fact that amount of health care utilized by different age groups also change over time --- these studies calculate how much health care people use at each age – then it is applied to demographics of an aging population to forecast the effects of changing demographics on the casot of health care  studies revealed that health care expenditures are concentrated in the period immediate prior to death  as we postpone dealt to later and later ages, the health care cost associated with preceding ages should grow lighter  within the US the growing elderly population portends especially large increase in health care cost because of both the medicaid and medicare programs  medical care provides universal coverage of hospital and physicians expenses to those over 65  medicaid provides medical care to eligible person of all ages and nursing homes expense for the elderly  US spends a lot in health care in general  shifts in payment for health care from private to public sources at age 65  feared medicare crisis lies ot so much with the increasing number of old people, since forecast show long term decline in US disability Rates  the responsibility belongs to rising per capital health care expenditures in policy framework that makes these a public liability  aging of population inspires fear of serious fiscal issues- in fast spending on pension  studies rely on dependency ratios and retirement rates rather than acknowledging that these measures are period and cohort specific and can therefore change  Dalmer Hoskins, Secretary General of international society security association stresses that focusing on the “burden of the aging, we must pay attention to the rising number of person who are able to work but made prematurely inactive  health care cost it snot demographic aging per se but current policy framework that reliable  the continued commitment by many government to generous public pensions with high replacement rates both facilitates and encourage retirement at or before age 65,despite evidence of increased longevity  changing these policy frameworks will involve combative perception hat the elderly are economically inactive both as producers and consumer  decline in physical and mental activity between age 20 to 30 is negligible; in general variation within age groups far exceed those between age groups  considerable data indicated that negative perception of older workers are still responsble for prompting early retirement  the increase health life expectancy for current older cohort older men and women should be able to remain economically active longer.  Industrialized countries may burden themselves with their unwillingness to adapt fiscal and social policies to changing social and cultural attributes  increasing tight labour market in many developed countries,employers have reacted slowly to this  many has used immigration as the cure for falling birth rates  the movement of asian and eastern european migrants into western labour market is hardly sustainable, as economic growth in the source countries will allow these countries to retain more of their own workers  many predicted that china themselves will attract high skilled labour, especially in the growing and valuable IT sector  elderly are thought to consume less and it will result i slower economic growth  however the longer the individual works the more likely it is their consumption rates and patterns will also change  those over 50 will spend more on leisure activities rather on consumer good but consumer goods obviously have a limited life span and as people live longer they will need o replace what they purchase in their twenties and thirties  ensuring older works a place in the labor pool would enable them to consume more later in life  changing preconceived notion of older cohorts and their economic behaviour is the key to capitalizing upon the potential of population aging  longevity means greater number of older people require care at the the same time declining fertility is shrinking the members of the family available to care for them  this place pressure on the middle aged to cope with both dependent children and aging parents  heterogeneous forms of family are emerging from the reality of population aging  alternative structure includes multigenerational relationships and members not formerly defined as kin  new arrangement of families are questioned about their roles and responsibility and for taking care of the dependent adults  US and europe has revealed a high level of social and economic transfer despite significant changed in family structure  alternative arrangement of families still perform the functions of a nuclear families where necessary  cross sectional work in Europe show an intention on the part of middle aged children to take care of older kin  in france – 80 percent of middle aged children said they would either provide housing for needy parents and in laws or care for their them in their own homes  Scandinavian research also highlighted the importance of kinship within a modern welfare state reporting both increase contact with family members and positive view of family as a supportive institution  developing countries face the greatest challenges  in 45 years, three quarter of 2 billion elderly people in the world will live in developing countries  it will take 23 to 24 years for the elderly to go from comprising 7 to 14 percent of the population in many developing countries, a jump that took 115 years for france to achievement  ---the elderly will probably not be the active healthy retire but f
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