Introduction: Older People under the Magnifying Glass
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Europe is greying. In the beginning of the twenty first century, Europe already was the oldest continent of the world, with every sixth European being 65 years or older. Researchers predict that older Europeans will become even more numerous in the future, with every fourth European being 65 years or older in 2050. This development has far-reaching consequences for the citizens of Europe and for European societies. For example, when we sit in cafes, we will see older people at the tables next to us more often. Shop-keepers will include more products for seniors in their assortments, and public transportation will have to be even more accessible to handicapped individuals. Moreover, pension schemes and long-term care schemes might have to restructure their financial basis, considering that there will be an increasing number of individuals benefiting from these schemes. Those few examples already show that Europe’s face is changing. This change raises a number of fundamental questions, such as: What will Europe look like in the future? Which European countries and which parts of society are most affected by population ageing? And how can we best react to the demographic change? The scientific discipline of gerontology provides answers to these questions.
KeywordsEastern European Country Pension Scheme European Average Occupational Prestige Social Security Agency
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