The elderly population is a constituent of every society and forms part of all cultures. In this respect, different cultures have distinct views regarding the aging population based on how they treat them. While western cultures tend to be youth centric, eastern cultures have an inclination to tend to the elderly in society. Indeed, the western view is attributed to the protestant work ethic that ties people’s values to their ability to work. The elderly are therefore less appreciated and are bound to spend their time in lonely community and nursing centers. In eastern cultures, though, children have the obligation of looking after the elderly in society and this is protected by law in countries such as China. It is no wonder that most eastern cultures celebrate the 60th and 70th birthdays as very important life events.
Culture is the incidence of a pattern of customs, behaviors and ideas that are shared by a particular society. While culture is merely a way of doing things, it has direct influences on the health of the people including their views on different health conditions. It affects the perceptions on health, death and illness including the causes of certain diseases and health phenomena. As thus, culture is also indirectly influential in the approaches used in health promotion as well as how pain and illnesses are regarded. In addition, the culture of a people is likely to influence the accepted treatment types and where the people seek treatment. However, culture not only influences the patients but also the health practitioners including the ethics they apply in their profession and the procedures that patients are given.
The environment has obvious and far reaching influences on human development and the speed with which the process occurs. Indeed, the exposure that humans are given provide an almost certain link of what they will acquire from the ecology. Humans are most likely to develop their emotional aspects from the environment they are exposed to including the personality of the people they interact with on a daily basis. Inherently, the social interactions have a larger influence on the sentimental development of the human mind and how it shapes perceptions. For instance, the housing conditions are bound to influence the health of the people with poor conditions resulting to poor health among the people. In addition, the type of food taken shapes the nutrition of the people and may predispose or prevent people from attracting disease pathogens.
Overall, the median age of the global population is on an increase due to lower fertility levels as well as increased average life span levels. As thus, the aging population has increased over time and continues to face different issues across the different countries of the world. In the US, people aged above 65 years take up a larger percentage of the population at about 15.3%. This percentage is relatively higher than the international average of about 8.4% making the country way above average. The improved health care in the world including developing countries has led to higher life expectancies across the world thus resulting in a larger population of older people. The high number of aged people means that governments have much more health cost bearing both in the US and the world in general. In essence, the amount of money spent on healthcare for people aged above 65 years has increased over time due to surges in their population.
Helman, Cecil G. Culture, health and illness. CRC Press, 2007.
Bronfenbrenner, Urie, and Pamela A. Morris. “The bioecological model of human development.” Handbook of child psychology (2006).
Christensen, Kaare, et al. “Ageing populations: the challenges ahead.” The lancet 374.9696 (2009): 1196-1208.
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