Ageing Populations: We Are Not Prepared

Posted on 29 January 2020

What The 2020s Have In Store For Aging Boomers

By the first half of the 2030s, it is estimated that the number of US citizens over the age of 65 will exceed those under 18. This unprecedented demographic shift is a challenge many countries will increasingly need to address in the coming decade, but according to some experts, we are not ready.

Long-term care is unaffordable for most families, both in the US and elsewhere. Additionally, many countries struggle with a shortage of care workers due in part to poor pay and working conditions – a shortage that will only worsen as the population continues to age.

Extending healthy lifespan will help mitigate these problems, however it is unlikely that medical advances will be significant enough to fully address these issues within the next 10 years. A greater focus on disease prevention and encouraging healthy lifestyles will be key, as will modifying social infrastructure to better accommodate the elderly.

Our focus should shift to health promotion and prevention, beginning in early life.

Dr. Sharon Inouye, Harvard Medical School

AI and robotics also have great potential to relieve the burden on the healthcare industry, as is being pioneered in countries like Japan, which has the highest ageing population on Earth.

Technology will be increasingly important as well, with ageing-in-place likely to be made easier by virtual assistants like Alexa, video chat platforms like Skype or FaceTime, telemedicine, robotic caregivers and wearable devices that monitor indicators such as falls, according to Deborah Carr, chair of the sociology department at Boston University.



What The 2020s Have In Store For Aging Boomers: https://khn.org/news/what-the-2020s-have-in-store-for-aging-boomers/

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