Category Archives: Elders

Chart of the Day: European celebratory isolation


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From Eurostat, which reports:

13.0% of the population aged 16 or over living in the European Union (EU) reported in 2014 not being able to get together with friends/family for a drink or meal at least once a month due to lack of resources, while 17.8% could not afford to regularly participate in a leisure activity.

Working age people (aged 25 to 64) were slightly more affected. The shares in this age group stood at 13.9% and 19.6% respectively, while they were 11.0% and 16.3% for young people (aged 16 to 24) and 11.2% and 13.5% for the elderly (aged 65 or over).

Around one third of the population in Hungary (36.5%), Romania (35.7%) and Bulgaria (30.0%) said they could not afford to get together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month. High shares were also observed in Greece (20.7%), Malta (19.2%), Ireland (18.4%) and Lithuania (17.4%). The elderly in Romania are particularly affected: in the age group over 65, the share there reaches 43.0%. In Hungary, the share is higher among the young (40.0%).

At the opposite end the scale, the share was below 1% in all age groups in Sweden. Less than 5% of the population feel unable to get together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month also in Finland (1.5%), Denmark (3.2%), the Netherlands (3.3%), the Czech Republic (3.4%) and Luxembourg (4.1%).

More austerian misery on the Mediterranean


In the European Unions, Great Recession bailouts were contingent on harsh memoranda from the Troika — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission — documents spelling out harsh conditions, ranging from mandated selloffs of ports, transportation systems, and other state resources, as well as those pay, pension, and healthcare benefits.

The hardest hit countries in the European Union were the PIIGS, Portgual, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain.

Two PIIGS are feeling the pain, one physically.

Spanish unions battle the Troika.

From TheLocal.es:

Spain’s two biggest unions said on Thursday that they “firmly opposed” measures demanded by Brussels to reduce the public deficit and demanded a hike in the minimum wage.

“We firmly reject the adjustment of €5.5 billion demanded by the European Commission,” the head of the UGT union, Pepe Alvarez, told a joint news conference with Ignacio Fernandez Toxo who heads the nation’s biggest union Commissiones Obreras.

Spain had agreed with Brussels to reduce its public deficit from 5.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 to 4.6 percent this year and 3.1 percent in 2017.

But the draft 2017 budget which Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government sent to Brussels last month forecasts a public deficit of 3.6 percent this year.

The European Commission responded by demanding that Madrid adopt additional measures to lower the deficit down to 3.1 percent, which will require roughly 5.5 billion euros ($6.1 billion) in spending cuts and tax increases.

The pain is physical in Greece

The Hellenic republic was the hardest hit of the PIIGS, and employment is still at stunningly high levels, with nearly half of Greek young people jobless and unemployment rates rising among older workers.

The latest numbers, released Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority:

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Austerity measures have been notably harsh, and the anti-austerity Syriza-led government surrendered to the Troika, inflicting still more pension, pay, and healthcare benefits whiles selling off more of the commons.

Just what impact the Troika has had can be illustrated in one sobering story from Kathimerini:

Spending on dental care in Greece declined by up to 64 percent between 2009 and 2015, according to data compiled by the country’s statistical authority which also showed that overall health spending fell by slightly over 19 percent over the same period.

According to ELSTAT, in 2009 Greeks spent a total of 1.95 billion euros on oral care (an average 473.4 euros per household). Six years later, spending had dropped to 701 million euros (an average of 169.5 euros per household).

Experts say that pressed by the ongoing financial crisis, Greeks chose to sacrifice oral care in favor of less flexible health spending such as medicine and hospital treatment.

Experts warn that the situation is made worse by the deterioration of public dental care service which has been hit by shortages in staff and equipment.

So the cash keeps flowing out of the country, while pain and suffering increases.

So is the power of the lootocrats.

Chart of the day: Employers ditch pension plans


From a sobering new report on the American workforce from the Pew Research Center:

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Film’s neglected, distorted portrayal of the aging


Following up on our previous post about inequality in the world of American film comes another study of bias on the silver screen, this time reflecting the neglected and distorted portrayal of folks of esnl’s own vintage.

Again, from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism:

New research reveals few characters aged 60 and over are represented in film, and that prominent senior characters face demeaning or ageist references. These negative and stereotypical media portrayals do not reflect how seniors see themselves – or their lifestyles. These findings stem from two studies conducted by health and well-being company Humana Inc. and the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative at USC Annenberg. The studies also reveal that aging Americans who are more optimistic report having better health.

Led by Professor Stacy L. Smith, USC Annenberg’s study analyzed the 100 top-grossing films from 2015 to assess the portrayal of characters aged 60 and over. Humana also conducted a quantitative analysis, asking seniors to identify the lifestyle traits that are important when aging, to assess the degree to which these traits describe them and to provide their point of view on senior representation in media. Major findings include:

In film, seniors are underrepresented, mischaracterized and demeaned by ageist language.

  • The findings show just 11 percent of characters evaluated were aged 60 and over; U.S. Census data shows that 18.5 percent of the population is aged 60 and over.
  • Out of 57 films that featured a leading or supporting senior character, 30 featured ageist comments – that’s more than half of the films. Quotes included characters being referred to as “a relic,” “a frail old woman” and “a senile old man.” According to Humana’s quantitative survey, seniors report they are highly aware (95 percent), resilient (91 percent) and physically active (71 percent).
  • Only 29.1 percent of on-screen leading or supporting characters aged 60 or older engaged with technology, whereas 84 percent of aging Americans report that they use the internet weekly.
  • Of the senior characters that died on screen, 79.2 percent of deaths were a result of physical violence — such as being shot, stabbed or crushed. This does not accurately reflect causes of death for the aging population, which are heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

But that’s not real life and seniors know it – people aged 60 and over lead active social lives and value internal, psychological strengths.

Continue reading

Chart of the day II: Japan’s swiftly aging population


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From the Yomiuri Shimbun:

The percentage of Japan’s elderly population aged 65 or older rose to 27.3 percent as of Sept. 15 this year, with women of the same age bracket reaching a record high of 30.1 percent of all women, according to estimates by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

The total number of elderly rose 730,000 from the previous year to 34.61 million, with the percentage among the total population of the nation rising 0.6 percentage points, according to the estimates that the ministry released in connection with Respect for the Aged Day on Monday.

Both the number and percentage continued to extend record highs. In particular, the number of elderly women rose to 19.62 million, surpassing 30 percent of the total female population for the first time.

The number of men aged 65 or older was 14.99 million, accounting for 24.3 percent of the total male population.

Chart of the day: Elders love her, the young don’t


From Gallup, the Hillary Clinton generation chasm:

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Chart of the day: Multigenerational households


While growing numbers of youth in Europe are jobless and not in school or training [see previous post], in the U.S. the Great Recession has spurred a rise of multigenerational households, reversing a trend that had dominated the last half of the 20th Century.

Another factor in the shift has been the growing percentages of the Latino and Asian populations, cultures in which multigenerational households are the norm.

From the Pew Research Center:

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More From the report:

The number and share of Americans living in multigenerational family households has continued to rise, even though the Great Recession is now in the rear-view mirror. In 2014, a record 60.6 million people, or 19% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

Multigenerational family living – defined as a household that includes two or more adult generations, or one that includes grandparents and grandchildren – is growing among nearly all U.S. racial groups as well as Hispanics, among all age groups and among both men and women.  The share of the population living in this type of household declined from 21% in 1950 to a low of 12% in 1980. Since then, multigenerational living has rebounded, increasing sharply during and immediately after the Great Recession of 2007-09.