Exploding the Myths
- As a natural process, aging should be welcomed in order to avoid premature death.
- Currently there are 580 million of people 60 yrs or older. Which 355 live in developing
- By 2020 - 1.000 million of people 60 yrs or older (increase of 75%) which 700 will live in
→ Myth #1 Most older people live in developed countries - >60% of older people live in developing countries. So, the reverse is true
- Currently 355 million in developing countries
- 700 million in the developing world.
- Life expectancy is increasing in every part of the world bcs
1. decline in premature death from infectous and chronic disease.
4. Nutritiion and medical innovation (vaccine, antibiotics discovery)
- Substancial decrease in fertility rates. E.x., Brazil dropped from 5.1 in 1970 to 2.2 in 1998.
China one-child-per-family policy in 1979. Rate decreased from 5.5 1970 to 1.8.
Population Ageing -is difined when more people live to reach older age while fewer children
Living in an ageing world requires:
- Acknowledging older people as a valuable resource and combating "ageism"
- enabling older people to be active participant in the development process
- providing adequate health care and health promotions for older people
- providing intergenerational solidarity
→ Myth #2 Older people are all the same
- People age in unique ways, depending in a large variety of factor, including gender, ethnic
and cultural background , location (industrialized or developing countries and urban or rural
areas), environmental conditions (climate, geographical location) family size, life skills and
- Individuals variations in biological characteristc tend to be greater between older people
than between young ones. Eg. Blood pressure or physical strength
- Differences increase by disease experiences along the life
- Differences are also seenin patterns of disease in immigrants. (this remains unexplaned)
Why such difference?
- Genetic componte, firstly, may contributr to how long we live. Activity for elderly is outcome
of experiences during the lifespan.
- Nutrition in childhood may infer in the development of disease and ageing process.
- Parents education levels also play important role in the diversity of ageing.
- Poverty is linked to a shorter life span and poorer health in older age. Indoor pollution and
poor housing structure. - Social isolation due to widowhood (viuvez) or divorce affects health.
Life style choices for active ageing should start early in life and include:
Participating in family and community life
Eating a balanced, healthy diet
Maintaining adequate physical activity
Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
Promoting Active Ageing
- Information about healthy life styles including the importance of healthy dietm adequate
exercise, the avoidance of smokng and excessive alcohol consuption.
- Policy decision to encourage healthy active ageing, including the creation of supportive
social and environmental conditions during life.
- Equity provision of efficient basic services and participation by all in society.
→ Mtyh #3 Men and women age the same way
- Women live longer than men. Around 5-8years longer
- Women seems to be more resilient than men at all ages, specially in early infancy and at
adulthood too (until menopause, at lest) bcs hormones protect them from ischaemic heart
disease, for example.
- Female life expectancy range from over 50 year in the least developed country to weel
over 80 in may developed countries. So the oldest old in most parts of the world are
- But longer lif does not mean haltier life.
- Women longevity makes then prone to choronic diseases commonly associated with old
age. E.g., osteoporosis, hypertension, inconticence, and arthritis.
- Men are more prone to heart disease and stroke.
- but as women age heart disease and stroke becomes the major causes of their deaths.
Gender and health in older age
- Social characteristct between women and men are also important.
- Historicaly women have no longer lived longer than men.
- In Europe and North America, the economic growth change some of the major risks for
women death. With greater economic condition, families were able to have improvement in
living condition and hygiene making the women's risk of dying in childbirth decrease.
- Meanwhile, gender division labour infer mens were more exposed to occupational risks.
- In terms of life style, men have more risks. Smoking causing death of lung cancer; alcochol
comsumption causngaccidents and violence, pneumonia and suffen cardiac death.
- So, life style factors combined with occupation risks have contributed to greater numbers
of premature deaths among male, specially in industrialized societies.
The Impact of gender discrimination
- In some societies, women's biological advantage is reduced by their social disadvantage.
- In societies where discrimination have placed women is job position where they ricieve
less than men, old women tend to be poorer them old men.
- Women are also more likely to be become widowed (viúva) as they live longer and usually
marry men older than them. Issues like inheritance have negative effect in well-being.
- Actions have been taken to eliminate discrimination between gender:
Equal access to education Combating all types of discrimnation against girls and eliminating negative
traditional practices. Like genitalia multilation.
Many NGO and women's organization are giving more attention to urgent issues
faced by older women today.
Gender analysis examines the origins of biological differences, disadvantage,
and inequality between women and men. Obejectiving, quality of life for both as they
Improved quality of life for both genders:
- Equal distribution of worl, caring, and leisure activities
- Education boys and girls to understand and avoid gender stereotyping
- Combating gender discrimination in all aspects of life, including job, pay, education and
access to health care.
- Maintreaming(objetivar/focar) gender analysis in all areas of healthy ageing .
→Myth #4 Older people are frail
- The vast majority of older people remain physically fit well into later life,