Aging: How Can We Make it Successful? Medical Horizons

Aly A. Misha'l

Abstract


In most western societies, nearly a fifth of the population is older than 65 years, and people will be living the third part of their lives after retirement.

In the so-called third world populations, including most Arab and Muslim countries, the picture could be somewhat different, but the medical, social and ethical implications are expected to be identical in all human societies.
Very few efforts were made to open organized avenues for old people to play meaningful roles as they age.

The experiences, abilities and time of older adults are largely not harnessed, and most efforts are limited to the variable needs of the elderly, without making use of their contributions to their societies. Some workers in this area describe the older generations as the only increasing natural resource, but the least used one!

In most countries, the retirement age is considered 65 years and above. This is an arbitrary estimation, not supported by evidence. In the post retirement years, more than half of people at the age of 65 and older are without significant disabilities, although 80% of them have one or more chronic disease. Such chronic diseases are usually managed successfully, and most affected people lead near normal life. Most of them are however, marginalized from productivity, while having plenty of time and experience.

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