Sunday, 1 November 2009
Essay 021 (Problems of aging)
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Because of the falling birth rates and better healthcare, the world’s population is getting steadily older and this trend is going to cause serious problems for the society.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own
knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
The increase in the number of older population, due to better health care and falling birth rates, can definitely have serious social and economic implications.
Since the elderly are physically and psychologically weak, caring for them automatically becomes the responsibility of the younger population. If their number rises beyond a certain level, it would become a huge burden on them to provide food, healthcare and other basic facilities. Inevitably, a major share of country’s resources has to be spent for this purpose. Consequently, this would lead to the reduction in budgetary allocation for other developmental activities, resulting in serious economic consequences. The manintainance of homes for the retired and old age pensions have become a huge burden for governments in many western countries.
Moreover, since the falling birth rates reduce the number of young people, the productivity of the country would be affected seriously. Young and energetic professionals are required in various developmental projects, research and development. Although a few older people do work beyond their retirement age, their contribution is very limited in physically demanding jobs and modern technology. For instance, in a number of developed countries shortage of young professionals in important areas like healthcare and information technology is experienced today. These countries are forced depend on the services migrant professionals from developing countries to fill the vacancies in those areas.
In conclusion, although increasing life expectancy can be counted as a sign of development, if it is coupled with the reduction in the number of younger population it would lead to many issues related to the progress of the country. Hence a number of countries are now encouraging more children in families by giving them incentives in terms of economic benefits and longer maternity leave.