Thought, a page on elderly people / old age wouldn’t harm to also point out a common unfairness. Being a European and having lived & worked in Asia for more than a decade, I realized a thing: Elderly people in Asia do get much more respect from the society, the youngsters than they do in the so-called Western world.
That also gets reflected in most of Asia’s social security systems for the elderly: While in (at least) Europe, old people – especially the single ones – must rely on a pension scheme, retirement / nursing homes etc., in Asia, the family, even close neighbors and the community account for the fulfillment of the special needs and requirements that are unique to senior citizens.
Whilst Government-established elderly care does exist in some countries, it is used quite infrequently, as the traditional methods of being cared for by younger generations of family members are preferred. Also – and probably as a consequence -, loneliness and even worse depression due to the old age is not as common in Asia as it is in Europe.
As of end 2015, males in Switzerland have the longest life expectancy of any men in the world, say the latest global public health statistics. But Swiss women have less of an edge on the rest of the world than four years ago, falling from second to sixth place in expected lifespan.
The Life Expectancy Statistics by the WHO place Swiss men above Icelanders, who held the top spot in the report’s last edition in 2012. Boys born in Switzerland can expect to live to the age of 81.3 years, considerably above the world average of 69.1 years.
Swiss women live to an average age of 85.3 years, the same life expectancy as those from Spain and an increase over 2012 when their expected lifespan was 85. In 2016, Swiss women were surpassed in life expectancy by those from Singapore, South Korea, France and Japan, which took the top spot.
There are large regional disparities in life expectancy, according to the WHO report. Whereas newborns in 29 high-income countries are expected to live 80 years or more, those in 22 others – all in sub-Saharan Africa – have a life expectancy of less than 60 years.
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