Women’s Longevity Affects How We Care For Seniors


A recently released report by the World Health Organization has found that the life expectancy for aging women is increasing at a significant rate. The report also found that there is room for improvement in less affluent countries, where adjustments could see life expectancies increase yet further. According to researchers at the World Health Organization, leading causes of death in women over the age of fifty include cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Fortunately, these ailments are preventable in many situations simply by improving one’s diet and increased exercise. As a result, many causes of premature deaths that have been dragging down average life expectancy can be treated or fully prevented.

Some of the keys towards increasing life expectancy in women include not smoking and not drinking excessively. Obesity is a leading cause of premature death in women, so weight control is also of crucial significance. The WHO study also compared women who live in different countries. The women who live longest in the world are Japanese. Still, the report found that life expectancies have increased all around the world, largely due to advancements in fighting deadly diseases such as pneumonia, flu, and tuberculosis.

Some countries are falling behind. For example, Russian women are feeling the effects of a failed healthcare system, and South Africa is suffering from a threatening AIDS epidemic. Some countries are experiencing the negative effects of economic prosperity, such as in Mexico where increased wages have resulted in a parallel increase in obesity.

The report was not exclusively related to aging and longevity, and also included pertinent information relating to a women’s right to safe-sex. This issue is intrinsically related to healthy aging and longevity, and WHO researchers advocate for changing stereotypes relating to the sexuality of seniors. Women need to be offered guidance related to safe-sex and have access to testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

This increase in the longevity of women’s lives has a tremendous effect on how we care for seniors. The United States has seen a dramatic increase in the number of home health care agencies, offering long term home care for an aging American population. The increase in longevity comes with increased challenges in how we care for our elders. With rising healthcare costs, many seniors find themselves unable to afford the expensive bills from nursing homes and residential facilities, opting for home care options instead.

Fortunately, the technological advancements in the area of home care have allowed Americans to age in the comfort of their own homes while still maintaining access to quality care. The phenomenon of loved ones providing for seniors in their own home is as popular as ever, and this trend is only expected to continue. The average life expectancy of American women is on the rise, having surpassed the 80 year benchmark. While this is a dose of good news to a population of aging baby boomers, it also compels our policy makers to improve our healthcare system to accommodate the large population of seniors.

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