Rus Articles Journal

The right for a worthy old age of

the World Health Day by tradition is noted on April 7. Annually this day WHO chooses an important problem of global health care for attraction to it of general attention. The World Health Day in 2012 urges to pay attention that good health throughout all life can help men and women of advanced age to conduct full-fledged life and to be active family members and societies.

In the 21st century health is defined by the general social tendencies and promotes of Economy of the different countries globalizations are exposed, more and more people live and work in the cities, the structure of a family changes. One of the largest social transformations - aging of the population. For the last century the expected life expectancy sharply increased. For the last thirty years the number of aged people of 60 years are also more senior doubled. The majority of elderly people live in the countries with the low or average level of the income. By 2050 this number will increase to 80%.

in the world Soon.

In the world will become more people living more than 80 or 90 years, than ever earlier. The number of aged people of 80 years or are more senior, for example, during the period between 2000 and 2050 will increase almost four times to 395 million people. There are no historical precedents to the fact that at most of adults of an average and more advanced age parents are living. More and more children will know the grandmothers and grandfathers and even great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers, especially the great-grandmothers.

Increase in the expected life expectancy happened last century. So, in 1910 the expected life expectancy of the woman in Chile made 33 years; today, only in hundred years, it makes 82 years. This tendency of considerable degree is result of improvement of public health care. The absolute number of aged people of 60 years are also more senior as it is supposed, will increase during 2000 - 2050 from 605 million to 2 billion.

In the countries to the low and average level of the income the fastest and considerable demographic changes will happen. For example, more than 100 years that in France the number of aged people of 65 years or is more senior were required doubled from 7% to 14%. At the same time such countries as Brazil and China, on it will need less than 25 years.

What “healthy aging“ means and what it is connected with?

Scientists came to a conclusion that healthy aging is connected with health at earlier stages of life. For example, insufficiency of food during the pre-natal period can increase risk of diseases at mature age (diseases of bodies of blood circulation and diabetes). Respiratory infections in the childhood can increase risk of chronic bronchitis in the adult period of life. Obesity and excess body weight at teenagers creates risk of development of chronic diseases at adult age (diabetes, diseases of blood circulation, cancer, respiratory diseases and diseases oporno - the motive device).

However how we grow old, depends on many factors. Functionality of biological system of the person increases within the first years of life, reaches peak at early adult age and then naturally decreases. Rates of decrease are defined, at least, partially, forms of our behavior and susceptibility to influence of various risk factors throughout all life. It includes what we eat as far as we are physically active and what risks for health influence us (for example, smoking, harmful alcohol intake or influence of toxic substances).

Even in the poor countries the majority of elderly people die more often of noninfectious diseases (heart troubles, cancer and diabetes), than of infectious and parasitic diseases. Besides, people of more advanced age often have at the same time several problems of health. The number of people with disabilities increases from - for aging of the population and bigger risk of chronic problems of health at advanced age. For example, the age about 65% of all people with violations of sight makes 50 years and is more senior, and about 20% of all world`s population are the share of this age group. With increase in number of the elderly population in many countries more people will be exposed to risk of age violations of sight.

Around the world elderly people are exposed to risk of improper treatment. Approximately of 4 - 6% elderly people in the developed countries tested any form of the bad address to themselves in life. Abuses in establishments include physical deduction of patients, an insult of their advantage (for example, their leaving in dirty clothes) and deliberate not rendering the insufficient help (for example, rejection of measures against formation of decubituses). Improper treatment with elderly people can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.

Therefore need for the long-term help to elderly increases. According to forecasts, by 2050 in developing countries the number of the elderly people not capable to look after itself will increase four times. Many of very old people lose ability to independent life from - for limited mobility, weakness or other physical or mental problems of health. Much need any form of the long-term help, including nursing at home, medical services in local community and the help in everyday life, care at nursing homes and long stay in hospitals.

To increase in life expectancy of people around the world sharp increase in number of people with dementia (for example, having Alzheimer`s disease) will happen. The risk of dementia (the acquired weak-mindedness of old people, permanent decrease in cognitive activity with loss in a varying degree of earlier acquired knowledge and practical skills and impossibility of acquisition of new) sharply increases with age and, according to estimates of experts, aged people of 85 years or is more senior than of 25 - 30% have any extent of decrease in informative abilities. Elderly people with dementia in the countries with low and average levels of the income, as a rule, have no access to the long-term help accepted on means which can be necessary for their state. Often their families do not get the state support for rendering the help and home care to them.

Elderly people can be especially vulnerable

in emergency situations. When groups of people move from - for natural disasters or armed conflicts, elderly people can turn out incapable of escaping or moving on long distances, and can be thrown. However in many situations they, having become leaders, can be a valuable resource for the communities.

How to overcome stereotypes?

Usually we appreciate elderly people whom we love or well we know. However our attitude towards other elderly people in wider community can be other. In many traditional societies to elderly people treat as “elders“. However in other societies to old women and men can treat with smaller respect. For example, the compulsory retirement age can be established, there can be an attitude towards elderly people as to less vigorous and less valuable to the potential employer. These positions - examples of discrimination of elderly people and formation of stereotypes concerning certain people or groups from - for their age. Prejudices can represent elderly as unreliable people with “the expired expiration date“, not capable to work, physically weak, low-bright, disabled or helpless. Age discrimination serves as a social barrier between young and old.

These stereotypes can interfere with elderly women and men to take part in public, political, economic, cultural, spiritual, civil and other work. More young people can influence these decisions, taking such positions on elderly people, or even to create obstacles for their participation.

We can break off this vicious circle, having broken down stereotypes or having changed our positions in relation to elderly people.

Stereotype 1:“ The expiration date“ elderly people expired

Though is supposed that elderly workers are less productive, than younger, and researches show some decrease in opportunities for information processing and attention with age, most of people keep mental capacities and learning ability in the most old age. They have an advantage of possession of experience and institutional memory. Decrease in physical capacities can be much smaller, than it is supposed. It is, of course, an exceptional case, but it serves as a fine illustration to told: On October 16, 2011 British Faudzha Singh became the first person who finished in 100 - summer age the Torontsky coastal marathon in Canada.

Stereotype 2: Elderly people are helpless

The fact that elderly people are especially vulnerable in emergency situations, does not mean that they in general are helpless. After the cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh in 2007 committees of elderly people carried out very active role, distributing early preventions among people and the families which are put the greatest risk, revealing the most injured, making lists of persons in need and registering them in places of receiving humanitarian aid. After an earthquake and a tsunami in Japan in 2011 elderly people and pensioners offered the services as volunteers for work in places of nuclear accident, claiming that they are not afraid of radioactive infection. Having lived many years, they are less concerned about long-term consequences of influence of radiation.

Stereotype 3: Elderly people, eventually, get sick with senile psychosis

the memory blackouts Happening from time to time are widespread at any age. And though the risk of development of symptoms of dementia in people is more senior 60 years with age gradually increases, possible symptoms of dementia (loss of mental abilities), such as uncertainty in performance of simple tasks, difficulty in end of offers and inability to specify month or a season, are not normal signs of aging. The majority of elderly people are capable to lead a normal life. Actually some types of our memory do not change or can even improve with age, for example our semantic memory which represents ability to remember concepts and the general facts which are not connected with concrete experience.

Stereotype 4: Elderly women are less valuable, than younger

People usually appreciate women on their beauty, youth and ability to have children, often without noticing that role which is carried out by elderly women in a family and society, looking after the partners, parents, children and grandsons. In the majority of the countries leaving in a family is usually provided by women. In the countries of Africa located to the South from the Sahara, for example, in rural areas of 20% of women at the age of 60 years is also more senior look after grandsons.

Stereotype 5: Elderly people do not have sense to provide medical care

Giving in to treatment of a state and an illness of elderly people often are not noticed or ignored as “usually inherent in an old age“. The age not necessarily causes sufferings, and only very old age is connected with restrictions of functions of an organism. The right for possession of the highest possible level of health does not decrease in process of our aging. Society itself sets age limits for access to difficult types of treatment or appropriate rehabilitation and secondary prevention of diseases and disability.

Not the age limits to
health of elderly people and their participation in life of society. This more likely individual and public wrong perception, discrimination and ill treatment which interfere with an active and worthy old age.