Thursday, February 04, 2010

The old are taking over

The issues of Ageing - or Aging, as blogger insists it's spelt - are often a topic of posts on this blog, and I've just come across an article in the Guardian in which ageing is discussed (partly in a tongue-in-cheek style) by Zoe Williams. She blames election time on the 'sudden interest' in the topic, but that aside, there are some points to note in her piece that are relevant to the NZ scene - election time or no. Some quotes: is an unarguable fact that the population is getting older; the impact is already being felt in dementia cases, which at 822,000 are 17% higher than previously estimated.

It is assumed that over-65s live in some condition of infirmity, when the most recent Health Survey for ­England ­suggests that the opposite is the case – the most commonly declared state of health, in any of the five age groups between 65 and death, is "no reported problems" (and that includes men!). So, as life expectancy rises and health improves at the early stages of ­pensionable age, ever more people will be ­working well into their 60s – ­transforming the equation of who's a burden and who isn't.

...a) there are more over-65s in this country than there are under-18s; and b) pensioners, for all their rude health, do cost more on account of their pensions – in 2005/06, £15,024 was spent on the average pensioner, £9,454 on the average child and £6,469 on the average person of working age.

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