Getting to the Root of Aging by Annette Baudisch and James W. Vaupel
from recent issue of Science
As people live longer, the question arises of how malleable aging is and whether it can be slowed or postponed. The classic evolutionary theories of aging (1—4) provide the theoretical framework that has guided aging research for 60 years. Are the theories consistent with recent evidence?
National Academy of Sciences news release: The aging of the U.S. population will have broad economic consequences for the country, particularly for federal programs that support the elderly, and its long-term effects on all generations will be mediated by how — and how quickly — the nation responds, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council. More information at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13465
Here’s a nice article that compares the demographic future of China and the US. It would be nice reading in a demographic methods course:
Demography: China’s Achilles Heel
April 21, 2012
Death Gets in the Way of Old-Age Gains
Carl Bialik | Wall Street Journal
March 2, 2012
This study suggests that a previously detected slowdown in mortality growth after age 88 didn’t exist among Americans born between 1875 and 1895. This finding coupled with a lower-than-expected count of U.S. centenarians in the 2010 census, has some demographers re-examining their beliefs about how well people who survive to old ages stave off death.
Mortality Measurement at Advanced Ages: A Study of the Social Security Administration Death Master File
Leonid A. Gavrilov and Natalia S. Gavrilova | North American Actuarial Journal
Volume 15, Number 4
By: AARP Research & Strategic Analysis (Surveys and Statistics)
From the summary:
This set of fact sheets provides a one-page overview of quick facts on Social Security for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Information is provided about each state’s older population, average personal income, Social Security beneficiaries, Social Security benefits, Social Security’s role in lifting retirees out of poverty, and Social Security’s income percentages among older residents’ income.
State Fact Sheets (2011)
Childhood Health and Differences in Late-Life Health Outcomes between England and the United States
By: James Banks, Zoe Oldfield, James P. Smith
Source: RAND Corporation
In this paper the authors examine the link between retrospectively reported measures of childhood health and the prevalence of various major and minor diseases at older ages. Their analysis is based on comparable retrospective questionnaires placed in the Health and Retirement Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing — nationally representative surveys of the age 50 plus population in America and England respectively. They show that the origins of poorer adult health among older Americans compared to the English trace right back into the childhood years — the American middle and old-age population report higher rates of specific childhood health conditions than their English counterparts. The transmission into poor health in mid life and older ages of these higher rates of childhood illnesses also appears to be higher in America compared to England. Both factors contribute to higher rates of adult illness in the United States compared to England although even in combination they do not explain the full extent of the country difference in late-life health outcomes.
Full text (PDF)
Source: Population Reference Bureau
By: Suzanne Bianchi
From press release:
Most research on the gender gap in unpaid caregiving in the United States has focused on young families. During the childrearing years, women provide the bulk of child care, although the time men spend caring for their children has increased in recent years.
As part of PRB’s 2010-2011 Policy Seminar series, Suzanne Bianchi, a University of California Los Angeles sociology professor, examined new research on caregiving in later life—a time when men and women may spend their time in similar ways as they enter their retirement years. The study, conducted with Joan Kahn and Brittany McGill of the University of Maryland, explored whether retirement and marital status made a difference in how men and women helped others. Specifically, they set out to learn whether men replaced paid work with time spent helping others after retirement and whether divorced people spent less time caring for kin, reflecting weakened family ties.
View webcast, “Gender and Intergenerational Transfer of Time Later in Life,” Suzanne Bianchi (Time: 45 min)
Working away at the cost of ageing: the labour market adjusted dependency ratio
By: Benedetta Guerzoni and Fabian Zuleeg
Source: European Policy Centre
Population ageing and its implications on public finances (especially pensions and care) is one of the greatest challenges that EU economies and societies will be facing over the next couple of decades. In this Issue Paper, Fabian Zuleeg and Benedetta Guerzoni argue that pension system reforms will not be sufficient to guarantee the sustainability of the EU welfare systems, if they are not coupled with increased participation to the labour market. In order to assess the EU Member States’ performance, this paper proposes an indicator – the Labour Market Adjusted Dependency Ratio – which combines the demographic trend with the labour market dimension. The analysis shows that slightly less than half of the EU population is not working due to unemployment, retirement or other reasons, with this figure notably growing up by 2050. The authors suggest that policy-makers can play a significant role in tackling the demographic challenge, by boosting labour market participation and reshaping the structure of European labour force.
Full text (PDF)
Health and Well-Being in the Home: A Global Analysis of Needs, Expectations, and Priorities for Home Health Care Technology
By: Soeren Mattke, Lisa Klautzer, Tewodaj Mengistu, Jeffrey Garnett, Jianhui Hu, Helen Wu
Source: RAND Corporation
In both industrialized and transitioning countries, population aging and better survivability have led to a rapid increase of the prevalence of chronic disease and disability. As a result, there is growing concern about the financial sustainability of health care systems, which is compounded by capacity constraints and workforce shortages. Advanced home health care solutions promise to mitigate these pressures by shifting care from costly institutional settings to patients’ homes and allowing patients to self-manage their conditions. A global study of the needs, priorities, and expectations of key stakeholders regarding home health care in six countries (China, France, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States) revealed that, despite their potential, such technologies face a number of barriers to adoption. Restrictive coverage and existing incentives for in-person home care create obstacles, as does limited patient readiness because of insufficient health literacy. Concerns about audience-appropriate product design and support and limited data on effectiveness and efficiency also impede uptake. Realizing the promise of telecare requires a concerted stakeholder effort, including creation of a conducive policy environment, design of convincing products, and development and dissemination of persuasive evidence.
Full document (PDF)