It is expected that by 2020, more than one in every four Japanese will be over 65 years (Sieke, 2008). Aging is indeed inevitable, especially with the advancement of technology and science; people are bound to live longer today than ever before. However, many of the pension schemes around the world were not designed with the foresight of an increasingly graying society with much baby boomer generation now entering retirement. There have been debates on the having people work longer before their retirement, yet, even though this may look like a quick fix, it gets compounded when one considers the evens like 2010 French riots that were sparked by a two-year retirement age extension and the resistance that it is bound to attract (Bloom, et al., 2010). Ageing of the population has a direct ramification on the organization and delivery of health care. Of great importance will the inevitable shift from acute to chronic illnesses at the face of a growing shortage of health care workers, particularly the nurses and paraprofessionals. The ageing population will require there to be more focus on chronic diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis more that they would acute illnesses (Boersch-Supan and Ludwig, 2010). The shift from acute to chronic illnesses will require there to be a change from one-time interventions that aims to correct a single problem to situations where doctors and patients will need to have an ongoing relationship that will seek to help patients cope with illnesses as opposed to curing them, which will involve an ongoing management of many diseases and disabilities (Sieke, 2008). With chronic diseases comes disability, which means that long-term care services like nursing homes, personal care,...
This paper approves that with chronic diseases comes disability, which means that long-term care services like nursing homes, personal care, home health, adult day care and congregate housing will certainly become fundamental sources of care. Further, there will be need for the development of new ways of integrating medical and long-term care services, which will prove to be substantially difficult for many countries due to the fragmentation of the financing and the delivery systems. There has been a growing concern of the current and future supply long-term care and acute workers particularly nurses and paraprofessionals like certified nurse assistants, professional care attendants and home health aides. A bulk of the long-term service care is provided by unskilled paraprofessionals who are mainly women and those drawn from racial and ethnic minorities.
This report makes a conclusion that the graying population poses a real challenge to the policy makers; however, it does not necessarily mean despair. Population and ageing indeed does raise some formidable and fundamentally new challenges, however, they are not insurmountable. With those challenge comes some new opportunities since people will have healthier and longer lives which will mean extended working years, and different capabilities and needs. We should work towards building a society that has a good equilibrium in that all age groups are balanced. However, we need to be ready for changes in demographics so as to able to provide our citizens both young and old with the best possible opportunities.