Sample - 1582 words essay topic, essay writing: Phe
Q. Explain the effects of an ageing population in the U. K.A. There are numerous effects and problems caused by the fact that the population of the U. K. appears to be growing older. Throughout this essay i will attempt to identify these numerous problems, which include economic implications, social implications, Pension factors etc. Then i will attempt to round the essay off with an effective conclusion which will identify the key body of my text and give a general consensus of what i have stated. In the U. K.
It is clinically proven that we have an ageing population. Men live to an average age of 75, which places them 14th in the world ranking table (http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/health/1977733.stm) and women to a staggering 79.9, ( http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/health/1977733.stm), which places them in 18th place in the world for the longest expected life span. The reason i state these facts as staggering is due to the fact that they are double the expected life span of people living 200 years ago. The reasons for this boom in life prevention are numerous, firstly peoples general level of health today far outways that of our ancestors. What i mean is that we have better standards of living than they we're able to have e. g
Better quality housing with central heating commonplace in most homes, and the issue of dampness no longer a major issue which as we know lead to a number of deaths from related illness back in the early to mid 20th century. Also we are more informed about how to avoid illness in this day in age, therefore we are far less suceptable to diesease than previous generations we're. For example, sexual health issues have become a major issue which has been addressed by the NHS in a number of ways i. e. making condoms available for free, ensuring that the youth are made aware of how to avoid contracting sexual diseases by introudcing talks in PSE and seminars to ensure children are made aware of the potential diseases. We are also more of aware of which foods are good for us, such as how much fruit and vegetable is advisable in a good diet, how too many sugarry foods can affect our systems etc, so we are once again less succeptable to various dieseases than previous generations. People aged 60 and over already outnumber children under 16 in the UK for the first time (http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/programmes/if/3493352. stm), which clearly shows that it is the case we are experencing an ageing boom that is set to continue for the forseeable future.
The effects of these statistics are as follows. The NHS will soon, if it hasnt already, become a victim of its own success. The National Health Service was set up as part of the post-war Welfare State. Its original aims were to provide a comprehensive, integrated service free at the point of use. Its intention was to provide the best possible care for all citizens and, wherever possible, prevent ill health. The NHS has not been able to fully meet these aims due to the unexpected cost of healthcare and an ever-increasing demand for limited resources.
The NHS has treated more patients every year and introduced many new treatments. But with limited resources it has had to deal with ill health caused by changes in lifestyle such as obesity, alcoholism and new problems such as AIDS. The care needs of the increasingly elderly population are also putting a significant strain on the NHS. As such it is often said to be 'a victim of its own success'(http://www. bbc. co. uk/scotland/education/b itesize/higher/modern/uksociety/health1 rev. shtml). As well as requiring treatment for specific health problems that are linked with old age, the elderly are the biggest consumers of general healthcare in the UK.
They are more likely to have accidents, which take longer to heal, and are also more likely to suffer from such major causes of ill health as heart disease and cancers. As well as specific healthcare, they need to be looked after in other ways as they become infirm and incapacitated. Thousands of old people take up beds in wards specially for the elderly, called 'geriatric wards', because there is no other suitable accommodation available. This is known as bedblocking (http://www. bbc. co. uk/scotland/education/bitesize/ higher/modern/uksociety/health1 rev. shtml). Therefore this has a significant impact on the wealth of the rest of the working population, as they have to subsidise for the elderly. Which links in perfectly with my next point, which is the fact that with their being less of a working population which has to supplement a larger retired population, the only conceivable step is to increase the retirement age. This is essential as if the age limit remains as it is, come 2080, the working population simply wont be in enough abundance to afford to pay thae taxes which shall be neccesary to supplement the mammoth number of old people that will be expected to be around then.
Also their is no real reason to keep the retirement age as low as it is, as i have already mentioned the standard of living of people in society is and has increased over the past say 40 years. Workers now have so many rights, i. e. they can only work a certain amount of hours, they can only do a certain amount of manual labour etc. Therefore they are more elegible for work further into their sixties and early seventies than they we're before, so why deprieve them of the oppourtunity to continue to work when the clearly still have the faculties to do so. Further implications of an ageing population are that with pension schemes payed by the government, which we're suited to ensure they lasted for the longeivety of one's suspected life, i. e. about 10 years after they we're offically dubbed retired, well this is simply not the case anymore. With the elderly expecting to live 15 to 25 years into their retirements these days, we can clearly see that the amount payed into pensions will not be suffice to last an elderly person for their longeingated lifespan.
This once again ties in with my concern that the retirement age must be raised in order to ensure that these people have enough money to last them their whole lifes, not just till fifteen years before the end of it. This problem can be alleviated to some extent by people taking out company pensions where they pay part of their wage into this scheme in order to supplement themselves in later life. Although this is not always as safe as it would at surface level appear, as if you we're to lose you're job to a business which was made bankrupt, you're money could be gone and you could very we'll be left with next to nothing. What i would also like to point out is that although a major reason for an ageing population is that we have better standards of living, the other major factor is that we have stop reproducing. After the second world war, the u. k. along with many countrys saw a birthing boom, with it not being uncommon for a family to have as many as 6 or seven children.
It is only now we are begining to feel the effect of this influx of people as the u. k. has a high number of single people and of those who do chose to marry, they are likely to only conceive one child. As in recent years, the number of deaths in 2004 exceeded the number of births. There were 53,957 births, 1,525 more than in 2003, and 56,187 deaths, 2,285 fewer than in 2003(http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/scotland/4727347.s tm). These satistics show that although our population size as a whole is decreasing, what is left of it will be much older than younger. The final point i would like to make is that it is very difficult to give any coherent answer to what we can do to reverse this trend, if anything. Instead of posssible looking for a reverse in the trend, we should possibly instead look to other cultures and to their approaches to the worth of the elderly.
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