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Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:13 PM

We're Getting Old, but We're Not Doing Anything About It

One of the paradoxes of this presidential campaign is that while many of the candidates are in their eighth decade of life, fundamental issues associated with the aging of American society are still receiving relatively little attention from the public, the press and politicians themselves. In 2031, the oldest baby boomers will turn 85, entering the land of the “old old” and facing exponentially higher risk for dementia, serious physical disabilities and long-term dependency.

Like climate change, the aging of America demands serious reconsideration of the way we live. Confronting the issue and its many implications, from Medicare’s failure to cover long-term care to the ethics of physician-assisted dying, requires what seems to be the most difficult task for human beings — thinking about the future.

In November, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that the birthrate among women of childbearing age had dropped to a record low, continuing a sharp decline in births that began around the financial crisis of 2008. At the same time, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported an increased death rate in the 25- to 64-year-old age group, with the main causes thought to be opioid overdoses, alcoholism and suicide.

What these statistics mean is that if these trends continue (always an important caveat in demographic studies), there will be many fewer young and middle-aged people to care for the frailest of the old, whose death rate has not increased in recent years. The population of the prime caregiving age group, from 45 to 64, is expected to increase by only 1 percent before 2030, while the population over 80 will increase by 79 percent.


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Reply We're Getting Old, but We're Not Doing Anything About It (Original post)
Zorro Dec 2019 OP
keithbvadu2 Dec 2019 #1
frazzled Dec 2019 #2

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:48 PM

1. Japan is a "super-aging" society

Japan is a “super-aging” society


Meet the youngsters helping solve Japan’s caregiving crisis. Like Kunio Odaira, 72.
By Anna Fifield January 28

YOKOHAMA, Japan - It’s lunch hour at the Cross Heart nursing home, and a 72-year-old, slightly stooped man is spooning soup and filling tea cups.

But Kunio Odaira isn’t one of the residents. He’s one of the staff, part of an increasingly gray workforce in an increasingly gray country.

“I enjoy talking to the people here. It’s fun, but it’s also hard work,” Odaira said during a break from his caregiving duties on a recent day.

Today's WorldView

What's most important from where the world meets Washington

Japan is considered a “super-aging” society. More than a quarter of the population is over 65, a figure set to rise to 40 percent by 2050. The average life expectancy is 85, and that means many Japanese remain relatively healthy for a good two decades after retirement age.

At the same time, the birthrate has plummeted to well below the level needed to keep the population stable. Now home to 128 million people, Japan is expected to number less than 100 million by 2050, according to government projections.

That means authorities need to think about ways to keep seniors healthy and active for longer, but also about how to augment the workforce to cope with labor shortages.

Enter the septuagenarian caregiver.

At Cross Heart, more than half of the 119 caregivers are over 60, and 15 of them are over 70.

“When we advertise for people to work here, we get lots of responses from older people, not younger people,” said nursing home director Kaori Yokoo in the lobby where residents were doing leg curls and chest presses on weight machines.

>>>>>>>>>>>>> more at the article

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:52 PM

2. This is why we will need immigrants

I don’t see any other way to overcome the disparity between a 79% increase in people over 80 and a stagnant population of potential caregivers. I guess just shoot me around 2030.

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