At the beginning of the twentieth century, the average American lifespan was 46 years; now it is 77 years. A 1928 government study forecast that the "natural" lifespan would ultimately rise to the unbelievable level of 65 years. When Social Security was enacted, this estimate was used as the basis for setting the federal retirement age at 65. Lawmakers assumed Social Security would be economical because most people would die without ever receiving a benefit check. Instead, today Americans average an extra decade of life beyond what experts thought would be the biological maximum. ("Environmental Reality: A Tidbit," 2003, p. 46)
There is a clear sense that the demographic of representation is also aging, as there are significantly older members of congress and court in seat today than has been the case in the past and this may also shift the trend toward bolstering some of the social services that have been traditionally lacking in recent years, yet it is unlikely that the privatization trend will be countered any time soon, in any comprehensive manner.
Many people consider social services for he elderly to be a ticking time bomb that is being ignored by the short-term governmental policy thinkers. Long-term trends of aging have not been met by rapid response to the changing needs of society. It is also likely that the government will learn from the Medicare D. plan, and its concerns as it fine-tunes the existing policy and hopefully demonstrates more critical concern for implementation on the part of providers in the future. Yet, this remains to be seen. In the future there will need to be a serious reckoning of sorts to answer the call of limited private social support networks, as those with fewer or no children age and the community cannot keep up with their needs. Expansion of private and public services needs to be addressed, and the institutionalization of information age technology is essential to access. The divide is clearly evident as many more elderly people do not utilize the same avenues of access as those that younger people do, i.e. The internet and this is a serious problem as many systems change over to electronic service and information access, almost exclusively. (Segelken, 2007, p. 18)
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Ulrich, C. (2002). When You're 65: Medicare Managed Care Is an Attractive Option for Elderly and Disabled Americans, but…