Population Ageing and the State of the Elderly, with Emphasis on Aged Jamaicans

Paul Bourne
2018 Gerontology & Geriatrics Studies  
Objectives: The measurable goals of this paper are twofold. One, it seeks to review population ageing in the Caribbean and by extension in Jamaica, and to show some of the likely issues surrounding this phenomenon. Two, accompanying the 'graying of the Jamaica's population are problems associated with their health, and the fact that their quality of life should be in keeping with the mind, body and socio-cultural conditions. Result:The ageing of Jamaica's population is as a result of the its
more » ... line in fertility which began in the 1960s coupled with the reduced mortality that owes itself to improvements sanitation, public health and the discovery of the pen insulin. It is primarily not the scientific invention of pen insulin that accounts for the lowering of mortality in Jamaica and around the world, but it is widespread use and acceptance of the product by the publics. With these conditions, the 'greying' of the Jamaica's populace means that significantly more burden will be levied on the working age population because there will be more elderly to take care of. Such a situation will be problematic in the future, as this is associated with increased pension payouts, higher health-care expenditure, along with the accompanying demand changes that are inevitable in meeting the needs of the ageing population. Method: The approach is the use of statistical reports, artifacts and records along with employing of the historical comparative method of data analysis. Conclusion: Ageing is not a recent phenomenon. It goes back centuries, from time immemorial. Importantly, the aged are on the upper end of the ageing spectrum; and this affects the population dynamics of the society. Ageing inevitable means longer life, that affects the population composition and structure. Therefore, as the population ages, the base of the population pyramid narrows, while the upper portion expands, and this is dependent on fertility reduction and mortality declines. If reduced fertility continues without any major catastrophe in the future, what we are likely to experience is people living longer, and the death rates at older ages will begin to increase thereby changing the population age structure further. Among the challenges of population ageing is not the least being changes in the population pyramid but what it is the health conditions that arise from biological ageing.
doi:10.31031/ggs.2018.03.000570 fatcat:k4zg5tgwc5exzigczv7p52jb6m