Experts look for new ways for elderly to contribute after retirement

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Experts look for new ways for elderly to contribute after retirement

October 28, 2016

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Fudan University’s School of Public Health hosted a three-day summit "The Columbia-Fudan Global Summit on Aging & Health: A Dialogue on Research, Policy, Health Systems and Industry Initiatives". Linda. P. Fried, the Dean of Mailman School of Public Health,Columbia University, shared her view about the third demographic dividend, how government can improve the public health as well as how cities like Shanghai could promote the health of aging people. Linda Fried, declared that retirement homes, a common place for taking care of the elderly in the US, wasn't the most effective means to take care of the elderly population and "advocate for the development of a 'Third Demographic Dividend' to help discover what the elderly can contribute to society".

 

(Original Text on the Global Times. Reprint is not allowed without permission.)

 

The world is aging at an accelerated pace. Executive director of the United Nations Population Fund stated on October 1, otherwise known as International Day of Older Persons, that the over-60 population is expected to more than double from it's current 900 million to 2.1 billion by 2020. 

Linda Fried, dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, declared that retirement homes, a common place for taking care of the elderly in the US, wasn't the most effective means to take care of the elderly population.

During the 1960s, the US had already developed large-scale, professional retirement centers. However, this model has started to see some issues crop up. 

According to Fried, when seniors live together in their own communities, it can lead to their isolation from society, which in turn can lead to feelings of anxiety and disconnect, earlier onset of neurasthenia, and other physical and mental ailments.

Aging is regarded as one of the greatest social problems of the 21st century. As one of the fastest aging countries, China is making it a major focus.

Spearheaded by Columbia and China's Fudan University, the Columbia-Fudan Global Summit on Aging & Health will be held from Monday to Wednesday in Shanghai to discuss research, policy, health systems and industry initiatives with scholars and legislators from different countries and regions around the world.

Personal finance management and investments focussed on retirement will also be hot topics during the upcoming summit.

"We advocate for the development of a 'Third Demographic Dividend' to help discover what the elderly can contribute to society," Fried, who will attend the summit, said. 

"We garnered the First Demographic Dividend by lowering the infant mortality rate and the Second Demographic Dividend by lowering the dependency Ratio of the population. If an appropriate model were created so that older persons had a way to release their energy, we may engender another Demographic Dividend."

Fried also pointed out that the government should provide better health care and pensions for the general public after retirement.

 

 

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Experts look for new ways for elderly to contribute after retirement