Age of Old

October 1, 2014

aliveAnother sunshine-splashed afternoon, flavored with a fairly-chilled breeze — otherwise, near picture perfect.

Old people. I’m now into my second month of retirement, and sort of weird as shit, peculiar only in passing.
Yet at the same time, on another level, no big deal. So far, the biggest working-adjustment is time — this is Wednesday, but it could easily be yesterday. Or a Thursday.
A sense of a nowhere man in terms specified by a clock on the kitchen wall (actually, the little time thingy on my laptop), but yet already learning a new relaxation form — don’t worry, you’re not obligated to be anywhere.
And the smallish, though, right-on-time persistence of my Social Security check.

Welcome to the future — old people.

(Illustration found here).

And already screaming for attention — we boomers here in the US are a kind-of-asshole generation — old folks worldwide (via the Guardian):

“This is an unprecedented phenomenon in human history; the rapid rise in the proportion of older people in society,” said Chris Roles, director of Age International.
“The report points to the urgency of a whole range of policies that are needed.”

He was discussing the 2014 Global AgeWatch Index, which outlined all kinds of shit about older populations, and also ranked nations on a premise of how good/bad it is growing old there.
Norway was the best, and for the US?

The United States of America ranks at 8 overall on the Index, ranking consistently high in all four domains.
It performs best in the capability domain (4), with a significant change in value points from 2013 due to an increase in the employment rate which now stands at 60.9 percent.
It also has a high rate of educational attainment among older people for its region (95.6 percent).
It ranks at 17 in the enabling environment domain, slightly below average on the civic freedom indicator (84 percent), but above average on the indicators of safety (71 percent), social connectedness (94 percent) and satisfaction with public transport (62 percent).
It ranks at 22 in the income security domain with a pension income coverage of 92.5 percent, although it has a higher than average old age poverty rate for its region at 14.6 percent.
It ranks lower in the health domain (25), with values that are slightly below the regional average for the indicators of life expectancy (23) and healthy life expectancy at 60 (17).

Odd, health care way down there, ‘income security,’ too — a shame for such an exceptional country.
Apparently, a lot of government operations will have morph into helping the growing tide of people living longer.
More from the Guardian piece:

The headline rankings revealed no big surprises: Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Iceland, the US, Japan and New Zealand.
The five lowest-ranked countries were Tanzania, Malawi, the West Bank and Gaza, Mozambique and Afghanistan.
The report stressed the need for a holistic approach to policymaking for people over 60, who are expected to make up 21 percent of the global population by 2050 – nearly 2 billion people.
There are around 700 million people aged 60 years or older, and this figure is expected to double by 2025.
“As the number of older people dramatically rises, it is vital that governments develop and refine policies that help older people to remain active, appreciated and capable of achieving their potential for their own sakes and their societies,” said Roles.
“Unfortunately, policies on pensions, treatment for chronic diseases, and support for family and community carers have been slow to evolve compared with the fast rise in the numbers of older people.”

Dude, stand in line. Slow to evolve toward an action on just about anything except war is the chapped rub.

Speaking of which, in retrospect now with a personal touch, us old folks might have dodged a bad, bad-ass bullet in 2005 when George Jr., pontificating about “earned capital in this campaign,” tried to “fix” the system — a most-horrid near-miss.
Way-fortunate, though, he failed miserably. Then Katrina kicked his ass, and the rest is indeed miserable history.
And the boy evolved into one not-worth-a-shit, weird-ass old guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.