It has been estimated that population only explains 0.2 percentage points of the annual growth rate in medical spending of 4.3% since 1970. In addition, certain reforms to the Medicare system in the United States decreased elderly spending on home health care by 12.5% per year between 1996 and 2000. The global economic crisis has increased financial pressure to ensure economic security and access to health care in old age. As life expectancy rises and birth rates decline in developed countries, the median age rises accordingly.

Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, broccoli, kale, salmon and tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your doctor about calcium supplements. You know that aging will likely cause wrinkles and gray hair. But do you know how aging will affect your teeth, heart and sexuality? Find out what changes to expect as you continue aging — and how to promote good health at any age. The Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing considers the existing international framework of the human rights of older persons and identifies possible gaps and how best to address them.

Ageing and health

According to the United Nations, this process is taking place in nearly every country in the world. A rising median age can have significant social and economic implications, as the workforce gets progressively older and the number of old workers and retirees grows relative to the number of young workers. Older people generally incur more health-related costs than do younger people in the workplace and can also cost more in worker’s compensation and pension liabilities.

Is ageing an American word?

Both aging and ageing are correct spellings with the same meanings. However, there is an important distinction between the two. Aging is the only appropriate spelling for American English and Canadian English. Ageing is the standard spelling for British English, and all dialects of English outside of North America.

By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over. At this time the share of the population aged 60 years and over will increase from 1 billion in 2020 to 1.4 billion. By 2050, the world’s population of people aged 60 years and older will double (2.1 billion). The number of persons aged 80 years or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050 to reach 426 million. Most legal systems define a specific age for when an individual is allowed or obliged to do particular activities. These age specifications include voting age, drinking age, age of consent, age of majority, age of criminal responsibility, marriageable age, age of candidacy, and mandatory retirement age.

Common health conditions associated with ageing

In countries that are experiencing large immigration flows, international migration can slow the ageing process, at least temporarily, since migrants tend to be in the young working ages. However, migrants who remain in the country eventually will age into the older population. WHO works with Member States, UN agencies and diverse stakeholders from various sectors to foster healthy ageing in every country. Healthy ageing is defined as developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age. Functional ability is determined by the intrinsic capacity of an individual (i.e., an individual’s physical and mental capacities), the environment in which he or she lives and the interactions among them. It will increase demand for primary health care and long-term care, require a larger and better trained workforce, intensify the need for physical and social environments to be made more age-friendly, and call for everyone in every sector to combat ageism. Yet, these investments can enable the many contributions of older people – whether it be within their family, to their local community (e.g., as volunteers or within the formal or informal workforce) or to society more broadly.

  • Although the older population of the United States is increasing, the number of geriatricians per 10,000 people over age 65 has decreased steadily since 2000.
  • People are living longer, and more are older than ever before.
  • The strong conservation of some of the mechanisms of ageing discovered in model organisms imply that they may be useful in the enhancement of human survival.
  • Yet, the environments in which we live can favour health or be harmful to it.

Age-related structural changes in the large intestine can result in more constipation in older adults. Other contributing factors include a lack of exercise, not drinking enough fluids and a low-fiber diet.


Yet, the environments in which we live can favour health or be harmful to it. Environments are highly influential on our behaviour and our exposure to health risks , our access to services and the opportunities that ageing brings.

  • WHO works with Member States, UN agencies and diverse stakeholders from various sectors to foster healthy ageing in every country.
  • Here’s what to expect as you get older — and what to do about it.
  • Such organisms are sometimes said to exhibit negligible senescence.
  • The rate of ageing varies substantially across different species, and this, to a large extent, is genetically based.
  • Due to increasing share of the elderly in the population, health care expenditures will continue to grow relative to the economy in coming decades.

With age, you might have difficulty focusing on objects that are close up. You might become more sensitive to glare and have trouble adapting to different levels of light. Aging also can affect your eye’s lens, causing clouded vision . Staying mentally active may help sustain your memory and thinking skills. You can read, play word games, take up a new hobby, take classes, or learn to play an instrument. Ask your doctor about how much alcohol might be safe for your age, sex and general health.