SOLUTION: St Catherine University Our Aging World Demographic Waters Research Essay

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Our Aging World

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Our Aging World
The word senescence corresponds to aging, including the alteration in spiritual, social,
biological, intellectual, and emotional spheres of human life. According to a report by the United
Nations, the older population of the world is growing over double that of the global population
(United Nations, 2010). More than 1.2 million people per month join the elderly! The population
aged 65 and older will more than double between 2000 and 2050 in countries like Italy, Nigeria,
Japan, India, and China (United Nations, 2010). Others will grow even higher: the proportion of
Indians aged will almost triple, and Kuwait will see its share of the population aged sixty-five or
older nine times more over those fifty years (United Nations, 2010). According to Berkman et al.,
“the world’s population is growing older, leading us into uncharted demographic waters. There
will be higher absolute numbers of elderly people, a larger share of elderly, longer healthy life
expectancies, and relatively fewer working-age people. Population aging does raise some
formidable and fundamentally new challenges, but they are not insurmountable. These changes
also bring some new opportunities (Berkman et al., 2015). Aging presents numerous challenges.
One possible part of the process is loss of independence and decreased physical skill and age
discrimination. Many older adults are still highly autonomous. Others need more attention. As the
elderly are usually out of work, finances can be a challenge. Older people may be targets of ridicule
and stereotyping because of cultural misunderstandings. The elderly face several challenges in
their later lives, but they mustn’t enter old age without dignity. The elderly demographic comes
along with its extensive economic, cultural, and social impacts across countries, regions, and the
rest of the world, the most common social issues affecting aging is ageism.

Ageism (if anyone acts on a prejudice) is discrimination based on age. Dr. Robert Butler
came up with the term in 1968 and noted that all cultures have ageism (Butler, 1968). Ageism
encompasses three main dimensions; these are cognitive (stereotypes), emotional (prejudices), and
behavioral (discrimination). Stereotyped perceptions and prejudices reduce the elderly to lower or
limited positions. We are all guilty of ageism, whether mild or extreme! When a car drives in front
of you, and it happens that the driver is elderly, won’t you think that the driver moves at minimum
speed because he or she is a senior citizen? How many times have you wanted to help an older
person because you think they are limited to doing some tasks because of their age? The severity
of ageism may vary. The abovementioned attitudes are probably relatively mild, but they may be
offensive concerning the elderly. When ageism occurs at work, in healthcare, and care centers, the
effects of discrimination can be more serious (Butler, 1968). Older adults can be afraid to lose their
job, feel dismissed by a doctor, or experience a lack of strength and control in their daily lives.
The elderly were respected and revered in early societies. Many pre-industrial civilizations have
observed gerontocracy, a kind of social structure in which power holds the community’s oldest
members. The senior citizens still have power and influence and are respected in certain countries
today—their extensive knowledge. Observance of seniors is still part of certain cultures, but it has
changed in many places due to social factors.
However, Industrialization has caused a decline in the social status of older people in many
industrialized societies. Today, those in younger age hold fortune, power, and prestige as well. The
average age of company management in 1980 was 59 years. The average age in 2008 was down
to 54 years (Chape, 2008). Some older employees were threatened by this trend and became
concerned that younger employees in higher-level positions would drive them out of their jobs.

Speedy technological and media advances have required new skills less likely to be available to
older workers. Changes occurred not just on the job but at home as well. A married couple looked
after their elderly parents in agrarian societies. The most senior family members contributed tasks,
cooking, and childcare to the household. As economies changed from agricultural to industrial,
younger generations moved to towns and factories (Chape, 2008). The elderly started to be seen
as a costly burden. They had no strength and endurance to work outside their homes. What began
in Industrialization has become commonplace with a trend towards the elderly, who live apart from
their young children.
Classification of Ageism
Butler identified unintentional ageism, intentional, personal ageism, and institutional ageism
as the four main classifications of ageism (Butler, 1968).

Unintentional ageism: It is also called mild ageism. In this case, practices, rules,
attitudes, and Ideas, held out without the offender being aware that they are prejudiced
against older people or groups (Butler, 1968). A great deal of everyday ageism is
unintentional. Ageism has entered the fabric of our society by using things like humor
that are widely accepted. Black memorabilia for birthday parties, birthday cards on a
hill, and senior moments are fine examples. A great deal of ageism is spread over
generations. Then, as Butler said, “We do not see stuff as it is, we see it as we are”
(Butler, 1968). We are growing up and filtering life by a looking glass that has been on
since early life: one of implicit partiality.


Intentional Ageism: In this classification, rules, ideas, practices, and attitudes are
performed, understanding that they are skewed against older people or groups.
Purposeful aging refers to techniques that take advantage of the vulnerability of older

people (Butler, 1968). Fraudsters are an example of people who forage on the
weaknesses of the elderly. They’ve devised various schemes to access us, including
using the phone, mail, computers, and even in perso…

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