unit 1 questions - Lauren Dlugosz 809410453 Gerontology 101...

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Lauren Dlugosz 809410453 Gerontology 101 Professor Yaghmaee 1. What factors contribute to the increasing life expectancy of the American people? What challenges do aging Americans face? There are many reasons that Americans are living to be older than ever before. Until 50 years ago, as time has gone on, there has been a decrease in child mortality rates, which has allowed more children born to grow up and become adults. Now, women are having fewer and fewer children, which is causing the proportion of older people to increase. During the first half of the century, the overall health of American adults has improved, which also increases life expectancy. Older Americans are becoming more healthy and active, which causes them to live longer. Women’s healthcare during pregnancy and post-pregnancy has increased, thus lowering maternal mortality. This has allowed more women to be able to grow into older people. Recently, as health care has improved, there has been a decrease in deaths from heart disease, which has allowed males to reach an older age. Aging Americans face many problems as their population is ever-increasing. As women are living to be older than men, many widows are left without the spousal benefits of pension or Social Security. Also, the population of retired people is becoming proportionally smaller than the population of Americans within the workforce. As the workforce is responsible for providing social security, those Americans who have retired are left with limited funds to spend during the rest of their lives. Also, increased life spans may result in lower marital bliss, and a higher divorce rate.
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