Essay on Ageing Population

Words: 969
Pages: 4

Using Item B and elsewhere, assess the view that an ageing population creates problems for society
There are many different problems that an ageing population creates for society. There are many reasons why there is an increase in the ageing population, as Item B states “In common with many western societies, the United Kingdom has an ageing population. Rising life expectancy and a relatively low birth rate have meant that the average age of the population is rising”. Also the decline in fertility has led to an increased amount of people who are over the age of 65 and this poses many different issues within society.
First of all, older people consume a larger proportion of public services. For example, they require more health and social
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This sees elderly people as vulnerable, irritable, incompetent and a burden to society. Peter Townsend recons that one of the reasons for the negative attitudes towards the elderly is the fact that there is a retirement age in the first place. Most people are expected and required to stop working when they get to a certain age which leaves them relying on inadequate benefits that push many of them into poverty.
The fact that there is a change in policy implication also is another reason why many see the population as a problem. Hirsch believes that the m ain problem created by an ageing population is how to finance a longer period of old age. There are two main things that can help this. Either paying more from savings and taxes whilst working or continuing to work for a longer period time, however, a combination of both would help more. He therefore argues that we need to refuse any current trend towards earlier retirements. To do this he says that we need to redistribute educational sources to elderly people in order to improve their skills and retain them. There may also be a need to change housing policies in order to encourage older people to ‘downsize’ to a smaller house when they live in a larger one than they need (especially if they are living alone). This would help to release wealth, improve their standard of living and free up housing resources for younger people.
In conclusion, the ageing population does cause many different problems for