Over the years, life expectancy has been experiencing steady increase in the United States. This is an achievement as far as addition in the length of life in which people live. This accomplishment has both positive and negative effects as far life is concerned (Andre & Velasquez, 2014). These demographic developments are changing various social and economic orientations. The elderly people are making a significant proportion of the population. The people under this age bracket have exhibit certain characteristics that are unique to their age (Dietz, Mitchell & Hayutin, 2010). This includes custom health care programs. The complexity of the dynamics related to these people prompt an immediate adjustments in the healthcare policies and programs to enhance ethical and economic balance.
Currently the proportion of people who are above 65 years old is about 12%. This proportion is projected to rise to over 21% by 2030 (Andre & Velasquez, 2014). This is the segment of people that is experiencing highest increase rate. People who fall under this category require intensive and sophisticated medical attention. The health demands for the growing elderly people is projected to be unbearable in the future. This is further complicated by the availability of technology that is used to extend life. This has the government to spending much more on population that is not productive as opposed to the population that supports the economy. This leads to a drain of resources to people who hardly contribute to any productive activity (Andre & Velasquez, 2014).
Future Economic Consequences of the Demographic Trends
Aging of the population is an aspect that has several effects on the economic, social and political stability. A further increase in this population is likely to initiate further adjustments in the choices that people make pertaining their lives (Dietz, Mitchell & Hayutin, 2010). The costs that are associate with these people have great significance across various aspects in the lives of people. These include the evolution in the living arrangements, challenges to financial wellbeing and the evolving of health care needs. The old people are prone to various health care concerns. This includes the high risk of attacks from chronic diseases.
The prolonged living periods in the people who are above 65 years makes these people to have more years in retirement. In the past, these people comfortably led their lives at the insurance of social security. This fate is under threat for their future counterparts. This is because of the uncertainty created by the high population of people under this category. This is because these individuals may not have sufficient funds under social security for their survival for the prolonged life expectancy (Dietz, Mitchell & Hayutin, 2010). The underlying age reality has put stress on various organizations like Medicare and social security of life and various organizations including the government should contemplate advocating for realistic measures to mitigate the trend (Dietz, Mitchell & Hayutin, 2010).
In the future, the elderly people may completely outnumber the people in the productive age brackets. This is very risky because this is likely to increase financial pressure and stress on the taxpayers. The government provides various services to these people. The major source of funding for the government t is the tax that is acquired from the working populations who are below the age of 65 years. The increase in proportion of these people is likely to lead to a financial disaster to the government. This is because it will require the government to add more funds to Medicare to take care of the elderly people. These people are under constant threat to fatal health conditions that require sophisticated medical services. The ultimate burden is likely to flow down to the taxpayer (Dietz, Mitchell & Hayutin, 2010).
Impact of Failing to Adjust Policies Related to the Demographic Reality
The government to and the related authorities need to wake up to the reality of the concerns created by the age proportions. This should prompt formulation of realistic and practical policies that will lead to control and mitigation of the reality (Dietz, Mitchell & Hayutin, 2010). This is because the impact of these imbalances is likely to affect people of all age brackets. This is because it may prompt them to adjust their economic prospects to meet the needs of the elderly people. This may also make the government to spend a lot of resources on these people. This is likely to affect other government projects because they may not receive sufficient funding.
Ethical Dilemmas of End-of-Life Healthcare
The elderly people spend a lot of resources when it comes to the restoration and maintenance of their health. This is attributed to their body physiology and the complex conditions that are related to them. On the other hand this is the most unproductive bracket of people. Most of the people in this bracket are retirees and they hardly engage in economic activities. This fronts the picture of the least productive people consuming the largest proportion of resources (Andre & Velasquez, 2014). The government also may spend a lot of money on these individuals at the expense of other projects that may be very productive.
In conclusion, as the technology that is related to medical facilities continues to advance, the ranks associate to the old people continue to increase. This causes an increase in the costs of health care. This leads to a significant increase in the competition for the healthcare services. This also raises the issue of equitable distribution of healthcare resources (Andre & Velasquez, 2014). This is because the government invests more in the health of the elderly. Therefore, if proper steps are not taken, the implications of this issue are likely to go beyond the field of healthcare into the economic, social and political arena.
- Andre, C. & Velasquez, M. (2014). Age-Based Health Care. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v3n3/age.html
- Dietz, M., Mitchell, L. & Hayutin, A. (2010). New Realities of Older America. Stanford Center on Longevity. Retrieved from http://longevity3.stanford.edu