Health and Human Development - Global health: health in old age
Health in old age
What conclusions can you draw from this data? How is increased income
related to life expectancy?
Life expectancy has increased due to improved nutrition, living conditions
and improved health care and vaccines.
According to WHO, ageing should be seen as a part of the life-cycle, not a
separate health issue. The promotion of long-term health should occur with
community- orientated practices. Sex differences and cultural influences in
ageing should also be acknowledged and strengthening of the ties between
generations should occur.
The difference in health status is quite obvious in men and women in old
age as women are living longer. In industrialised countries, women have
improved their social standing and have greater equality in literacy,
health care, social security and wages. Subsequently, they are living
longer and the gap in life expectancy is widening as their social status
becomes more equal.
However, in developing countries, women still have high illiteracy rates,
poor wages, high fertility rates and high rates of marriages in their late
teens. Consequently they continue to be disadvantaged and they are still
highly dependent upon their children and grandchildren for care as they
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