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Winter Journal

Volume 30, Issue 4

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Thursday, 10 August 2017 15:15

How to adapt to ageing societies

The growing average age of populations is not always a burden on society, it can be a rewarding opportunity to enrich communities and our world as a whole. Increasingly, governments and local authorities are seizing the gift of longevity to imagine social infrastructure differently – and new areas of standardization are in the pipeline ready to help.

We are not getting any younger and neither is the worldʼs population. The number of older people has exploded in recent years and we are approaching an era where words like “aged societies” are becoming a reality. In fact, by 2050 it is expected that many countries will be classed as “super-aged societies”, meaning that more than 21 % of the population is over 65; and by 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years and above will have grown by 56 %).

Adapting to this trend poses economic, social and political challenges and may increase the dependency of older citizens on those of working age. This regularly conjures up doomsday scenarios of workforce shortages, the financial collapse of pension and health systems, mass loneliness and insecurity.