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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences
Title The Caribbean elderly: ageing, health and population composition
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 1-19
URL http://www.maxwellsci.com/author/ms/attestation/ebe172e256c03ec2080f7acf5cd72486-3773-CRJBS-DOI.pdf
The measurable goals of this paper are twofold. One, it seeks to review population ageing in the
Caribbean and by extension in Jamaica, and to show some of the likely issues surrounding this phenomenon.
Two, accompanying the ‘greying’of the Jamaica’s population are problems associated with their health, and
the fact that their quality of life should be in keeping with the mind, body and sociocultural conditions. The
ageing of Jamaica’s population is as a result of its decline in fertility which began in the 1960s coupled with
the reduced mortality that owes itself to improvements sanitation, public health and the discovery of the
peninsulin. It is primarily not the scientific invention of peninsulin that accounts for the lowering of mortality
rates in Jamaica and around the world but it is widespread use and acceptance of the product by the public. With
these conditions, the ‘greying’ of the Jamaica’s populace means that significantly more burden will be levied
on the working age population because there will be more elderly to take care of. Such a situation will be
problematic in the future, as this is associated with increased pension payouts, higher health-care expenditure,
along with the accompanying demand changes that are inevitable in meeting the needs of the ageing population.
The approach is the use of statistical reports, artifacts and records along with employing of the historical
comparative method of data analysis. Ageing is not a recent phenomenon. It goes back centuries, from time
immemorial. Importantly, elderly people are on the upper end of the ageing spectrum; and this affects the
population dynamics of the society. Ageing inevitable means longer life, that affects the population composition
and structure. Therefore, as the population ages, the base of the population pyramid narrows, while the upper
portion expands, and this is dependent on fertility reduction and mortality declines. If reduced fertility continues
without any major catastrophe in the future, what we are likely to experience is people living longer, and the
death rates at older ages will begin to increase thereby changing the population age structure further. Among
the challenges of population ageing is (not the least being) changes in the population pyramid but what is the
health conditions that arise from biological ageing.

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