The Aged

Topics: Retirement, Old age, Gerontology Pages: 27 (8670 words) Published: March 11, 2013
The aged
Legal and social definition of the aged

Social Definition

• Is when an individual becomes old or elderly and therefore is placed in the group often referred to as the aged. This can vary on a number of factors such as physical and mental factors. A social definition does not normally refer to a specific age. • The general retirement for the aged is between the 65 years for men and 60 years for women. This is a generalisation as men and women can retire before or after this age. • Ageing is a very personal adjustment, for some they can age quicker than others. The main sign of aging from an objective view will be the physical change, such as wrinkles, gray hair and walking support, so that is physical change. Aging can a mental and inner change, not just a physical change. • Elderly members of society are often seen as not as efficient in day-to-day activities, compared to when they were younger. This leads to old people going to nursing homes and getting carers to help them function in their everyday lives. • Society determines whether a person is old or not on the basis of chronological age or appearance. The aged are often defined as those in the last one-third to one-quarter of the life span. However, to a young child a teenager can seem to be aged due to the difference in age and looks. Another example is well functioning 65 year old, they can see the aged to be over the age of 80, and not see them self to be in the aged group. It can be based on a person’s own age and vision on old people.

Legal Definition

• “Those individuals who are 65 years and over” (ABS) • In some states in Australia, the government has modified regulations regarding the mandatory retirement age and allowed employees to continue working past the age of 65 years. This has also impacted on the benefit age that older people can gain access to government support and funding. • The legal definition of aged does not look at appearance like the social definition, but is based fully on numbers and statistics. • The aged are people who are in the last one-third to one-quarter of the life span.

Identify Characteristics of the aged

• The life expectancy is higher for females than males. Due to this fact there are 100 males for every 137 females at the age of 65 and this figure increases at the age of 85, when there are 100 men for every 268 women. Due to this fact there is more elderly women living alone than males. -ABS • The Australian Government has implemented a superannuation policy which means that both female and male workers must set aside a portion of their income, which can only be accessed when they retire. This will be leading to fewer aged-people replying on the pension, as well as preparation for retirement. • 80% of the current aged population live in their own home, while 18.5% rent and 40% of aged people over 85 years are living in nursing homes. • Decrease in mortality and morbidity has increased the life expectancy to 75.2 for men and 81.0 for women. This can be due to an increase in technology, medical advances, higher awareness of health and the difference in life expectancy between men and women can be due to the fact that women are more likely to access health services than males. • In recent years the number of people living over the age of 75 has doubled, the number of people living of 85 has tripled and living over 95 has increased over 8 times. • It has been predicted that in the next 20 years that the population over 65 years will be rising by 48% and the population aged over 75 years will increase by 118% • Approximately 17% of the population is aged over 60 years. • 6% of people over 60 suffer from dementia

• 71% of people aged over 60 use at least one form of medication • 7% of people aged over 65 are employed
• 67.4% of people aged over 65 receive the aged pension • All above figures from the ABS.
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