Longevity and healthy aging – Will healthcare be drowned by the gray Tsunami or sunk by the demographic iceberg?
A great deal of attention has been focussed on the devastating impact of population aging in the decades to come. This article considers various attitudes regarding this trend and recognizes that better economic models should be put forward for future healthcare. It is predicted the demand for health and social care from 2010 to 2030 for people aged 65 and over in England and Wales will increase significantly, and people with moderate or severe need for social care is estimated to increase by 90%. It is thought by some that aging in the developed countries is the biggest threat to the global economy because of the increased cost burden of all these old people who are chronically sick with prolonged illnesses of old age. The alternative view is that this longevity represents an opportunity for improving the health and indeed lifestyles of all the people.
If this resource disparity is not very urgently addressed, then there will be a period of several decades where Government continues with current policies and healthcare system, increasing the burden of the retired population and the rest of the economy. The article concludes that developed countries such as the UK and EU must, as a matter of urgency, initiate plans to increase healthy productive lives of the two generations nearing retirement; failure to do this will result in the risk of severe economic decline. The need for co-ordinated programs to encourage healthy aging and lifestyle as well as common sense is also a vital economic necessity.
Will healthcare be drowned by the grey Tsunami or sunk by the demographic iceberg? Or will new and radical, economic, medical, nutritional, exercise and life style developments, produce a better economic model for future healthcare. A properly funded Health Service rather than an over Politicised Failing Sickness service.
Longevity and healthy aging – Will healthcare be drowned by the grey Tsunami or sunk by the demographic iceberg? Post Reprod Health March 2014 20: 8-10, doi:10.1177/1754045313515208