The aging population seemed like one of the most important populations suffering in our world today. The aging society has a: Declining birthrate, Increase in the life expectancy of Americans, and consist of 13% (35 million) of the United States population. (Stanley, Baca, & Eitzen, 2008) When I think of the aging population in the United States I cannot let go of the thought that their future is going to be harder as a population to survive because of the statistics rising against them.
The aging population includes many different people from all over the world, which brings in the concern of sex ratio and racial composition. The sex ratio today is three elderly women to every two elderly men, which shows how men actually die before women, and as the elderly get older the disparity is larger. According to (Stanley, Baca, & Eitzen, 2008) the secondary status of women in the U. S society has provided them with extra longevity. The traditional gender roles have demanded that men be engaged in more stressful, demanding and dangerous occupations.
The racial composition shows that racial minorities have a lower life expectancy than do whites. The racial minorities include mostly African Americans and Latinos. Minorities usually have large families with no health insurance, and receive less than perfect medical attention, which makes them have lower life expectancy. Recently the President of the United States has approved a health care bill that I hope will help the minorities in the U. S so that they can actually live longer lives.
Life expectancy is increasing in older adults, which could be a good thing but most elderly adults are white, single, and female. I think that the elderly people who are widowed and left along have a hard time adjusting to living alone, and starting over from day one without the benefits they may have had with a living spouse. Unfortunately, the text states that the remaining elderly are disproportionately older and poorer and require more public assistance from a lower community tax base.
My biggest concern for the elderly community would definitely be social security, and how it is becoming a problem for the upcoming future. Currently social security is something that 90% of the elderly depends on for their future income, and not everyone is covered. With the cutback in jobs that we face today it is impossible to know who will receive social security, considering that coverage depends on previous wages and years in work force. The social security system is definitely biased against women, which makes it even more challenging for women to live comfortably in this society.
Paying for health care has got to be the hardest thing personally for the elderly considering medical expenses are three times greater than middle-aged adults. I know for elderly people with serious medical conditions, that it is impossible for any insurance to cover them and for any hospital to openly accept them without it. Finally, I would like to talk about the elderly abuse that goes on everyday in nursing homes, and in friends and families homes. Nursing homes are very under staffed and usually don’t go through the precautions that are needed to insure the elderly a safe environment.
Elderly abuse is something that is usually ignored by people that don’t have any encounters with those types of situations. For example, I have heard people talk about family members or friends who do openly abuse their elderly family and have no intentions of speaking up about the situation or reporting it. I think that abuse is something that should be regularly investigated and confronted in order to take control over what is happening to the elderly in the United States.
In conclusion, the aging population is continuously heading in a bad direction which I believe could be changed if we all came together and showed more concern for them. By making people more aware of what is going on in the aging population maybe we could get the attention of people who could give that extra push to make the United States a place where the elderly have no worries at all.
Stanley, D. , Baca, M. , & Eitzen, K. (2008). Social Problem (11th Ed. ). Boston, MS: Allyn and Bacon.