The International Training Program on Policy Formulation, Planning, Implementation and Monitoring of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging was scheduled to take place in New York between October 8th and October 19th, 2012. This international committee first met ten years ago in Madrid to discuss the implications of the growth of the world’s aging population. The agenda for the current meeting proposes and to consider “holistic and coordinated” polices related to the quality of life and well-being of older persons in various worldwide societies.
A recent New York Times article by Judith Graham referenced a United Nations report which contained several alarming facts. Worldwide, more than 46 percent of people aged 60 years and over have disabilities and more than 250 million older people experience moderate to severe disability. There will be more people older than 60 than children under age 15 within 40 years. The balance of the population of developing countries is shifting more rapidly than countries Europe and North America.
Advances in health care allow people worldwide to survive chronic illnesses to live to an older age. The corresponding increase of the cost for the care of the increasing amount of older persons is not only an election issue in America but an unresolved and unaccounted for issue on a worldwide basis.
A social consequence in developing countries is that the younger generations are leaving the rural areas in search of opportunities in more urbanized areas, which can result in older family members being not only unattended in relation to their own care needs, but also sometimes also needing to take care of grandchildren who have been left with them.
Graham reports that Japan is now the oldest country in the world and the only one where elders now represent more than 30 percent of the total population, and where 60 percent of the unpaid caregivers are 50 or older. But by 2050, 64 countries will have seniors exceeding 30 percent of their total populations.