Topics on ageism have been coming out recently in many schools prelim papers. Perhaps its worth taking a look at this topic on aging population.
Who are we referring to in an aging population? Usually it refers to elderly aged 65 years and above.
Aging population has been the concern of many developed nations since they are seen to be a strain on government’s expenditure. In dealing with an aging population, the government needs to provide for social security and medical care. This would result in less funds for the other sectors of the economy.
Is an aging population necessary a bad thing? Perhaps we can change our perspective in how we look at these elders. For instance, these elder people offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in the workplace. They could be seen as effective mentors for the youth. Their knowledge and experience can go a long way in helping the youth to be successful faster and to shorten their learning curve. Also, it is not necessary true that they are a financial burden. These elder individuals have more disposable income due to them working all their lives, hence this could be a viable economic sector for government to target. They would definitely need to consume healthcare related items and perhaps even greater expenditure on leisure activities since they have already retired. (This is of course assuming that these elder individuals have sufficient in their saving accounts to spend for developed nations). With advancement of medical care, I’m sure our aging population would be relatively healthier compared to previous generations. If that’s the case, they may not be seen to be financial burdens. Singapore treats the elderly population as an avenue of economic growth, given how they are more well off compared to other age groups.
Also, we can always train our aging population to lead a simple and relaxing retirement. That way, it would cost lesser for society to support the aging population. Also, the society can take an active stance in promoting good health and exercise lifestyle for these people. In this way, it would cost less for society if everyone is healthier. The problems that the elderly are facing could be easily rectified by society as long as preventive measures are put in place early.
Could AI be used to support these elderlies so that there is less burden and stress for the youths to take care of them? Perhaps this is something to consider especially in the area of therapy and companionship. Then again this begs the question of whether the elderly will be open to such technology.