Preparing for a changing population—what it means to age successfully

elderly
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A paper by Columbia Mailman School's John Rowe, MD, Julius Richmond Professor of Health Policy and Aging, in the journal Health Affairs outlines the challenges we face as the U.S. becomes an "aging society." This transformation has major implications for our core institutions which were not designed to support this changing population distribution. The paper, "Challenges For Middle-Income Elders In An Aging Society," is published online.

"While the most disadvantaged are at greatest risk of losses in well-being and , it is apparent that middle-income elders will also face challenges related to education, work and retirement, healthcare and housing in the next 10 years," noted Rowe. "Low savings rates and the added financial burden of longer lives are conspiring to place previously neglected middle income elders at risk of depleting all their resources and becoming entirely dependent on toward the end of their lives."

The Research Network on an Aging Society, chaired by Rowe, has been working to identify the elements of a successful adaptation with innovative initiatives to support a large population approaching age 60. They developed the Aging Society Index—a model for measuring the success of adapting to this demographic transformation based on 5 principal domains:

  • Productivity and Engagement
  • Well-Being
  • Equity
  • Cohesion
  • Security

"While remain preoccupied with Medicare and Social Security, a far more would be to consider all the principal domains of society that affect the capacity of older people to age successfully, and not just the poor," said Rowe.


Explore further

New global aging index gauges health and wellbeing of aging populations

Journal information: Health Affairs

Citation: Preparing for a changing population—what it means to age successfully (2019, April 24) retrieved 20 August 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-04-populationwhat-age-successfully.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more