As a result of advances in medical care, average life expectancy is increasing for men and women. Do you think most people will see this as a positive development? What are the disadvantages of an ageing population for individuals and society? Support your point of view with reason and or examples from your own experience or observation.
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Band 9 IELTS Essay Sample
Thanks to advancements in healthcare, people are now living longer than their parents or grandparents. Longevity is definitely good and desirable but problems may arise when there are too many old people in the society.
To start with, the elderly people are not very productive. They cannot work or earn and as a result many of them are dependent on their children or social support programmes. This is not exactly a problem if they have sufficient savings or if their family is able to take care of them. However, this is not always the case. Old parents or grandparents can strain the budget of financially poor families. Many of them have to subsist on social welfare schemes run by the government. Unfortunately, this puts a burden on the public exchequer because in order to provide for the elderly population, the government has to allocate a huge amount of money. As a result, it will not have enough money to spend in other areas.
Another problem associated with increasing life spans is the deterioration in the quality of life. Although people are living longer it does not mean that they are living healthy and happy lives. Many senior citizens survive on medications. They need assistance even for performing their day to day activities. This necessitates the constant presence of a care provider in the house. For example, in India it is quite common for the daughter or daughter in law to quit their job to care for their aged parents or in-laws. This can hurt their family finances. Also, sometimes adult children may treat their parents as a burden and refuse to provide them the love and attention they need. As a result, many aged people are forced to live in old age homes.
To conclude, the advancements in medical science have certainly increased the lifespan of people. However, longevity can be a problem for people who lack an adequate support system. Also, an increase in the elderly population can hurt the productivity of a country and force the government to earmark a major proportion of its revenue for their welfare.
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