Friday, February 7, 2014


The next time you are out in the city or abroad on vacation especially in East Asia and Europe, take a good look at the people around you. Have you noticed more older adults than young people?

Welcome to the ageing world. If you are like me, a baby boomer, there are many more of us around than ever before. This is one case where there is no safety in numbers. Instead there is much concern, even alarm in some countries.

The figures speak for themselves. Source: HelpAge

According to a PEW Research Centre survey on attitudes towards ageing, it is interesting to note that Asian countries especially Japan, South Korea and China, are generally more worried than the US about the implications of an increasingly graying population.

Source: Pew Research Centre

A quick look at the statistics reveals why this is so. By 2050, those aged 65 and above are expected to make up more than a third of the population in Japan and South Korea, with China closely behind.

Any country with a rapidly ageing population faces a host of problems ranging from a slowdown in economic growth to soaring healthcare and welfare costs.

To read more, please go to Attitudes about Ageing: A Global Perspective.

Here are some cartoons taken from various sources on the internet to give readers a snapshot of the global ageing 'crisis'.

CANADA: Click here to read more.
NEW ZEALAND. Click here to read more.
CHINA: Click here to read more.
GERMANY: Click here to read more.
Source: The Star  (19 Jan 2014)

What about Malaysia? According to the United Nations, we will be an ageing nation by 2030. But why wait till then to get prepared? The relevant ministries should start planning NOW to cope with the expected rise in the elderly population. We must have the necessary systems and structures in place, and not wait till we are swamped by the onslaught of the silver tsunami.

Worth picking up to find out more about the implications of an ageing population.

I bought this book 'Shock of Gray' in 2010, after reading a review of it on Amazon. An absolutely fascinating and horrifying read at the same time. Highly recommended if you are interested in the topic.

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