Overview of health and ageing issues in the Asia-Pacific region

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Abstract

There is a tendency to consider ageing a ‘problem’ – perhaps regarding it a costly and difficult thing to deal with and even a threat to social and economic futures. This has sometimes been called the ‘moral panic’ perspective, viewing demographic ageing as a reason for concern, rather than a remarkable achievement of clinical and social successes in making people healthier and longer-lived. Nevertheless, while it is unfair to scapegoat an ageing population, ageing does indeed pose many challenges, which have been called the ‘challenges of success’ (Kinsella and Phillips, 2005). If these challenges are addressed, then any ‘problems’ associated with ageing can be mitigated very considerably. This chapter provides a review of some of the features of demographic ageing in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the healthcare and social care difficulties they are likely to provide to states, communities, families and individuals. There is as yet no universal picture or model that we can apply to all countries as the member states of this region are very varied. They have different histories of socio-economic development and varied philosophies for the provision of health and welfare services. However, there are certainly groups of countries facing similar situations but often they adopt rather different approaches and solutions. It is not possible, mainly for data reasons, to give a detailed epidemiological comparison over all the territories of this vast region, but there are now good comparative demographic sources, and the chapter begins with a review of the major features of demographic ageing regionally.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSingapore's ageing population : managing healthcare and end-of-life decisions
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Pages7-30
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781136726262
ISBN (Print)9780415609753
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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PHILLIPS, D. R. (2011). Overview of health and ageing issues in the Asia-Pacific region. In Singapore's ageing population : managing healthcare and end-of-life decisions (pp. 7-30). Taylor and Francis Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203817025-9