Different cultures around the world take care of seniors in various ways. People have been getting older from the beginning of time. While different cultures have distinct aging attitudes and customs, aging experiences can be very different worldwide.
How Different Cultures Age
Seniors should be held in high regard around the world, but that’s not the same with every culture. Let’s take a look at around the world how different cultures treat their elderly.
Ageism is a common thing in American culture. Unfortunately, seniors in america aren’t always given the respect they deserve.
Americans 65 and older were more likely to be sick than their elderly counterparts in countries like Canada, Australia, Sweden, France and Germany. In a 2017 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults, which surveyed between 500 and 7,000 people over 65 in each country. More than a third of them have three or more chronic conditions.
Older Americans also had financial hurdles in relation to their care and didn’t receive the help they needed because they couldn’t afford it.
In Japan the elderly are treated with utmost respect in general. Most Japanese families live under one roof for many generations. This aspect is believed to be one of the many reasons elderly people live longer than any other population in Japan. There are currently more senior citizens in Japan than there are young people.
Many of Japan’s Elderly People Live to Be Over 100 Years Old
The explanation for Japan ‘s large senior population is that many Japanese live to be well over 100 years old. Longevity is attributed to some of these reasons:
- Strong community bonds
- Plenty of exercise
- Healthy, low-fat diet
- Low stress way of life
Elderly citizens in Greece have the worst quality of life in Europe. The Global AgeWatch Index ranks Greece 79th out of 96 countries. It is the lowest ranked country in western Europe and comes in below Venezuela and South Africa. Greece’s low ranking can partly be attributed to the effects of austerity measures, which have been implemented in recent years and directly affect pensions. In general, older people faced serious cuts in pension payments since 2009.
The Greek economic crisis brought to the forefront the underlying ageism widespread in Greek political and administrative circles which sees older people as an expensive burden, a vulnerable population and uneducated. Starting with employment, older people have never had equal chances at lifelong learning for employment, with a tiny percentage of government funds for training going to people over 50. This was not done on the basis of evaluation of their value or productivity but simply on the basis of age, leaving a very clear message in the society, that older people are less valuable and able.
Sweden is one of the nations that has established reforms focusing on and encouraging high-quality, long-term care for the elderly both in institutions and home care. 94% of older people over the age of 65 live at home and have the opportunity to live an independent life, even if someone needs support. If an older person needs a health care worker ‘s assistance, he or she can apply for the assistance – most regions provide ready-cooked meals that are also delivered to home for the elderly.
Sweden ‘s approach to caring for the elderly in their own homes is distinctive and helps them to preserve their freedom. Therefore, their families are at ease realizing that their loved ones are well cared for. The seniors have contributed their whole lives to their communities. They have been employed, raising a family and paying taxes, thereby providing treatment for their countrymen and women. They deserve the same high quality care. Health care workers are needed and appreciated, in addition to the care that the elderly receive. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone: the elderly, their families, and all Swedish citizens of the present and future.
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