The Aging Population And Government Policy That Suits Their Welfare

| Wednesday, October 5, 2011
By Byron Jonas

Human beings inevitably grow old. The chronological life cycle of a human being goes from childhood to adulthood and finally to old age. The aging population and government policy had been on a collision course for some time but this has changed in recent times. The government has come up with policies and legislation for programs and services that will meet the needs of an aged person.

One of the policies that have been developed is the retirement benefits policy. This ensures that people in their old age have a reliable source of income and do not just depend on others for everything. The retirement kitty is a joint fund from the employer and the employee. Deductions are made monthly to contribute to this fund.

Once a person retires, they will be able to get roughly half their salaries during the time that they were in employment. This will enable retired people to enjoy financial security even though they may not be working. This is the reason why the government has made it a mandatory requirement for people to contribute towards a retirement scheme during their working lives.

However, some people view such a scheme as unworkable, and a waste of their hard earned money. These people would rather have the funds that they contribute be invested in a profit generating activity. What these critics fail to realize is that if a retirement fund did not exist it would mean that the authorities will need to give the aged population hand outs, meaning that money will have to be taken out of the economy for this purpose.

The provision of social services is another policy that the government has been able to come up with. This has been done through the establishment of special clinics that are set up to cater for the health needs of old people. The reason for this is that old people suffer from ailments that are specific to them, and so they need specialized care and attention.

It has been observed that senior citizens are afflicted by diseases that are peculiar to their age group and here the government has to ensure proper health care is given to these aged people. Of importance is to have them cost share rather than purchase medication at standard prices. This in turn helps them survive for long due to the affordability of both palliative and curative medication.

This said, it does not help to introduce policies that will not stand the test of time. These policies must be flexible enough to be effective and functional in the future as well. This is because age old, and pensioners, is not a passing cloud that will not be around in the future. What works today must somehow also work in foreseeable future for consistency purposes. This brings about trust and security that after all, there is a clear cut plan for these ageing to enjoy tomorrow.

There should be standards that govern the conditions of facilities established to accommodate the aged in the society. Some of them are in dilapidated state and end up causing health problems for those in them. Some of them take days before washing these people and this is very unhygienic. It is also important to visit the aged constantly and keep them company.

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