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Aging. The Greying of Canada. The proportion of Canadians over age 65 is rapidly increasing Two factors account for this increase: A relative decrease in the young due to low birth rates An increase in longevity. Growing Old: Biological Issues.

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Presentation Transcript
the greying of canada
The Greying of Canada
  • The proportion of Canadians over age 65 is rapidly increasing
  • Two factors account for this increase:
    • A relative decrease in the young due to low birth rates
    • An increase in longevity
growing old biological issues
Growing Old: Biological Issues
  • Biological changes in early life are celebrated.
  • This is not the case for biological changes in old age, all of which have social consequences, eg:
    • Declines in strength and vitality
    • Progressive cognitive impairment
    • Decreases in sensorimotor coordination and other neurological issues
  • However, aging is as much a cultural phenomenon as a biological one…
growing old cultural issues
Growing Old: Cultural Issues
  • Aging is universal, but the significance of growing old varies by culture.
  • Age-based inequities vary by the technological advancement of societies, eg:
    • In hunting and gathering societies, the elderly are burdensome.
    • Agrarian societies exhibit “gerontocracy” due to the accumulated wealth of the elderly, especially elderly men.
    • In modern industrial societies, the “elders” are replaced with the “elderly,” who are dependent and have less prestige than in agrarian societies.
problems of aging
Problems of Aging
  • Finding meaning while anticipating death. (Research suggest that this is less difficult for persons whose earlier years were meaningful)
  • Social isolation, esp loss of partners
  • Retirement and its lifestyle changes
  • Income declines and poverty
  • Elder abuse and neglect (3%-5% in US)