What are the Biggest Challenges and Problems for Elderly People in Our Society?

It is well known that as a society we are living much longer thanks to improved living conditions and health care. While being able to reach old age is something to be thankful for, in many ways, there are several challenges facing the elderly, which we all need to pay more attention to. Often it is not until we start to age ourselves or we see a loved one struggling with a problem that we sit up and take notice, but as a society, we can do more to make life easier for our aging population. This article outlines the biggest challenges that elderly people face today and how we can support them and enable them to age with dignity.

Ageism and a lost sense of purpose

There are lots of outdated stereotypes about elderly people, which can lead to isolation and marginalization in a lot of communities. By coming up with innovative ways to involve older people in the community through social events, we can not only help them to maintain a sense of identity and self-esteem but also tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience they have, which is so vital for the development of society.

Financial insecurity

While we are living longer, unfortunately, the world of employment and retirement has not evolved at the same pace. Many elderly people are able and more than willing to work past the standard retirement age, but the opportunities are not there. In addition, managing day to day finances and planning for later life can be challenging for older generations as much is now done online or remotely. This can also leave them more vulnerable to fraud and scams.

Difficulty with everyday tasks and mobility

A person’s mobility and dexterity will naturally decline as they age, which makes completing everyday tasks more difficult. This can gradually cause people to care for themselves and prevents them from being social, pursuing interests, or taking part in activities they enjoy. More support is needed to enable elderly people not only to live independently through products and programs which focus on safety, balance, fitness, and mobility but also to ensure they can continue to thrive as an individual.

Finding the right care provision

When complete independence is no longer practical, many elderly people require additional care. Sometimes this care can be provided by family members, but this can place a lot of strain on the caregiver in terms of balancing this with work and other family responsibilities. These caregivers need to be given the training, resources, and emotional support necessary to help them deliver the best care for their loved ones and themselves.

In some cases, it is more appropriate for a professional caregiver to be employed on a regular basis, e.g., when there are complex medical conditions and/or physical disabilities. With a comprehensive elder care service, the elderly person is able to remain in their own home.

Access to healthcare services

Healthcare can be complicated and disjointed for elderly people, especially for those struggling with long-term conditions. The care requires lots of different medical professionals and clinics to coordinate delivery of medication and other types of care.

End of life preparations

We all need to prepare for the inevitable, but death is often a difficult topic for people to discuss or make plans for. Elderly individuals and their families need support when considering the end of life options available, financial implications, and how to ensure that the individual’s wishes are respected.

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20 comments on “What are the Biggest Challenges and Problems for Elderly People in Our Society?

  1. Pamela Black on

    I absolutely agree. Health care is the number one problem for elderly today. I am closely approaching a senior. Now 58 years old.

  2. Njeri Kamau on

    As a community we need to think of how to help the elderly because most of them are suffering out there without care. I wish I could come up with a home where they would be safe.

    • Ms M on

      As a senior what I find most frustrating is that seniors conditions progress at different rates and though as friends, you become the care taker the load becomes very heavy and depressing..although you want to help you watch your friends deteriorate in front of your eyes..and that’s very depressing..

  3. Lalit kumar Mallick on

    In India we have a culture of living with joint family, which patches many issues of seniors but present time ” Empty nest syndrome ” – makes fear of solitariness. Of course financial condition and health problems make seniors life gloomy.

  4. Deborah Bodie on

    I have had the experience of caring for my elderly Mother. In order to factually comment about elderly, experience is needed. The elderly have been “left behind” in so many ways because we are now dealing with a generation that has never had the responsibility of “what it takes” to understand and care for seniors.

    Health care, financial, money issues all stem from Medicare and Social Security which most seniors/elderly live on along with any assets and or funding they acquired before coming of senior life.

    Standard of living depreciates as they continue to age.

    It is time to take care of our senior citizens and not everyone else in the world. Give them better medicines, health care, and daily support. Better information to help them down the last part of their journey and more financial support.

    Our Medicare and Social Security needs to be revitalized/revamped. This system has many flaws which in return goes against a person that works hard to take care of themselves financially when they are young to prepare when they get old. You need to look at what is causing the problem to cure the disease.

    • Ann on

      Seniors have value and are treated as useless, why. You never speak to them to tap into all their experiences and how they were accomplished without all the technology of today.

  5. Nimusiima Vastine on

    This is true the elderly are going through a lot more than we think right away from isolation they fill empty lack social life even from their own children who pretend to be busy working and catching up with their family issues which seem never to end and this kills them even more faster they can’t imagine they are being neglected by their very own children.

  6. Brian C Merritt on

    Difficulty dealing with on line services due to need of complex “passwords” and robotic response systems is a growing problem for elderly people. Mistakes in entering passwords or missed keystrokes can easily result in being “locked out” from banking activities, tax queries et al

  7. Afton Jackson on

    Having access to anything that can help you have healthcare really sounds important when you’re old. That’s something that my father might need since he’s always felt kind of isolated as he was living all alone, so I definitely should help him get these services. Once I find an at-home care service in the area, I’ll ask them to help me out right away so my father can get some assistance.

  8. Samantha on

    I’m a social worker for the elderly and disabled, in my experience, the problem is that the help that is available to seniors is unknown. For example, the LIFE program or senior centers in your community that offer meals and exercise class, transport to appointments etc are not advertised or they are advertised but on a social network platform or web based that most older adults don’t utilize 🫣 if anyone is reading this and currently care for an older adult please see if these centers in your area, they truly are such a help

    • Rhetticia Gibson on

      Hello Samantha My name is Rhetticia I am a mother of 6. My passion for caring for people has been there since a little girl. Myself and my Feunce want to open a profitable genuine business for senior citizens. at the discretion of shopping for them. talking to them taking them to family that live far away etc… all under the cost of what they feel they can provide do you have any advice on how to get this up and running?

      • Renan on

        Hi Rhetticia,

        A good place to start is with the Small Business Administration. Every major city has an office, and they are there to help you with starting your business. Best of all, it’s a free resource provided by the government. There they can help with planning, launching, managing, and growing your business. They also provide resources for funding. Here’s the website to learn more: https://www.sba.gov/

        Another thing to think about is the business structure. You should consider starting a limited liability company. This will help protect your assets and it offers pass-through taxation. To learn more about this check this out: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/sole-proprietorship-vs-llc/

        Once you have decided whether to incorporate your business, or not, then you should consider and sort of license, bond, and insurance to protect your business and give your clients confidence they are protected in case something happens.

        Another thing to think about is your marketing. It all started with your brand. Design a solid brand and then website.

        I can keep rambling and think I provided some good options to help you start. Please keep in mind this is all my opinion and suggestion, but I am not a legal expert, nor have I started a company before. All the best to you and I hope to hear back about your vision becoming a reality.

    • MARK PAYNE on

      Thank you very much for the above information shared. I am passionate about the need to bring awareness to the fact that our elderly are important and we need to appreciate, value and take care of them. I have started to write a document to sensitize people to this significant segment of our population. Included in the manual will be practical ways of demonstrating appreciation and genuine interest in the well-being of our elders .I am hoping to produce a document that can be used all across the Caribbean and farther afield. In the Caribbean Region churches can play a significant role in providing help for seniors in our nations.

  9. Shirley Phelp on

    I am 85 years old and recently asked my new Doctor to look at my very large moles (some were itching and catching in my clothes, one peeling off) not all were even looked at. I asked for them to be removed, as my previous Doctor had done, but was refused due to lack of funding.l then asked for my toenails to be checked, due to thickness, discoloration and bleeding when attempting to cut them. I was referred to the Podiatrists Dept. My Doctor informed me today that my referral had been refused, again due to funding.
    I am now of the firm belief that the Elderly are being discriminated against, we are ‘leftovers of a caring bygone age, an inconvenience and passed our Sell By Date.
    I have worked hard to maintain good health, even though l have had a Stroke and Heart problems for which l take 12 tabs per day.
    My Arthritis in hands and left foot are painful, but l still strive daily to walk my 2 small dogs (My Best Friends) If l can fix a problem myself, l will, that’s how l was brought up. Now l feel very old, useless and under valued
    We all grow old, l just hope the Policy Makers, Leaders and Decision Makers decide very soon, one day it will be their turn to feel unimportant and abandoned.
    During the Second World War, we were all United and together, Rich or Poor, Young and Old, it was all about Survival.
    Yes, l’m an Old Veteran, and living in London during the Blitz, but l would rather live through that again, than be here now.
    I just can’t believe the ‘couldn’t care less, and decline in standards attitude’ we have today.
    I just hope the “Mothership” doesn’t take too long in collecting me for my Final Journey.
    Thanks for reading.

    • Dave on

      Hi Shirley –

      Thanks for your post. You are so right about the health care system. My wife worked in that field and has seen doctors ask their front-desk person what insurance the patient has, if they had Medicare, pay out of pocket, or any type of government assistance, the patient was given no more than 15 minutes and was treated like a third-class citizen. Whereas, if the patient had private insurance (i.e. Cigna or Blue Cross Blue Shield), they were given 30 minutes or more and everything they wanted/needed was addressed. Unfortunately, that’s the way society is going.

      It’s unfortunate the “younger” generation doesn’t have more respect for seniors. There is a lot to learn from the elderly, even some pitfalls they have gone through is worth hearing about. The younger generation just doesn’t care! Their main focus is to “get rid of” Seniors so they can step into their jobs and take over. They do the same where I work…. Just waiting for the older workers to “retire” so they can move up in the company. Just wait until their old, it’s a vicious circle!

      I think you are doing great! At 85, getting around as you do is awesome! Keep yourself active and you’ll be fine. My Uncle is 97 and still lifts weights.

      All the Best!

  10. Ramon Piano on

    Im 67 myself, and Im developing able study lesson for seniors too.. so i stumbled over your article… My concern is on the last challenge.. End of life preparations..
    For me, Im assured of my salvation based on the bible.. I think this is the most serious concern..


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