Demographic Changes Older People In Society

When working with older people, knowledge about normal ageing and the experience of ageing is useful in order to understand the realities of growing older in society today. A fuller account for therapists is beyond the scope of this chapter but interested readers should see Laidlaw et al. (2003). It is important to take time to understand the individual's own experience and attitude towards ageing (Knight, 2004). Chronological age is, at best, a poor guide especially as attitudes appear to be important in predicting how people respond to the ageing process (Levy, Slade & Kasl, 2002). Older people are the least homogenous of all age groups especially as there are a minimum of two generations contained within this age grouping and, with the increase in longevity, there may well be four decades separating the youngest old from the oldest old (Zeiss & Steffen, 1996).

Handbook of Evidence-based Psychotherapies: A Guide for research and practice. Edited by C. Freeman & M. Power. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

A combination of low fertility rates and increased life expectancy has resulted in the relative ageing of societies worldwide (Kinsella & Velkoff, 2001). The world's older adult population is estimated to show a threefold increase over the next 50 years, from 606 million people in 2000 to 1.9 billion in 2050. In the developed countries, the proportion of the population aged 60 years and over was 19 % in 2000 rising to 32 % by 2050 (United Nations, 2003). The most dramatic increases in proportions of older people are evident in the oldest old section of society (people aged 80 years plus) with an almost fivefold increase from 69 million in 2000 to 377 million in 2050 (source: United Nations, 2003).

Life expectancy at birth in the UK in 1901 was 45 years for men and 49 years for women, whereas by 2000 life expectancy had increased to 75 years for men and 80 years for women (Matheson & Babb, 2002). In 2000, at age 65 years men have an estimated 15 years of life expectancy and women have an estimated 19 years (Kinsella & Velkoff, 2001). In the UK, by 2014 it is expected that the number of people aged 65 years and over will outnumber those aged 16 years and under. The average age of the population is estimated to increase from 38.8 years in 2000 to 42.6 years in 2025 (Matheson & Babb, 2002). In the UK currently, 4 % of the population is aged 80 years and over (United Nations, 2003). Compared to 1971, in 2000 there were over three times as many people over the age of 90 and 78 % of this group were female (Matheson & Babb, 2002). It is evident that there will be a greater likelihood of psychotherapists coming in contact with older people and a consequent increase in knowledge about prevalence and efficacy of treatment for late-life anxiety and depression.

How To Add Ten Years To Your Life

How To Add Ten Years To Your Life

When over eighty years of age, the poet Bryant said that he had added more than ten years to his life by taking a simple exercise while dressing in the morning. Those who knew Bryant and the facts of his life never doubted the truth of this statement.

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