人生90年時代 高齢者も社会の「支え手」に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 2, 2012)
Help elderly people support themselves, others
人生90年時代 高齢者も社会の「支え手」に(10月1日付・読売社説)

With many baby boomers turning 65 this year, the number of Japanese aged 65 or older has topped 30 million for the first time, accounting for 24 percent of the population.
 「団塊の世代」が65歳を迎える今年、65歳以上の高齢者人口が初めて3000万人を超え、全人口の24%となった。

Society as a whole must quickly make preparations to cope with the population's ever-accelerating pace of aging.
 一段と加速する高齢化への備えを、社会全体で急がねばならない。

In 2050, the average life expectancy is projected to be 83 for men and 90 for women, up from 79 and 86, respectively, at present.
 平均寿命は、男性が今の79歳から2050年には83歳に、女性が同じく86歳から90歳に延びると予測されている。

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recently decided on a new outline of measures to cope with the aging society, which took a hard look at the arrival of an era in which more people will live to the age of 90.
 「人生90年時代」の到来を見据え、政府は、新たな高齢社会対策大綱を閣議決定した。

The outline's key feature was a call for elderly people, who have been "supported" under the social security system, to become more capable of "supporting" themselves and others if they are willing and able to do so.
従来は社会保障制度の下で「支えられる」側だった高齢者が、意欲と能力があれば「支える」側に回るよう求めたのが特徴だ。

Indeed, elderly people today look far more youthful than they once did.
 確かに、今の高齢者は、かつてのお年寄りに比べ、はるかに若々しいと言える。

Men aged 65 can expect to live an average of another 19 years, while women likely will live for 24 more years--both about twice as long as people that age shortly after the end of World War II.
 65歳の人の平均余命は、男性19年、女性24年だ。それぞれ終戦直後の約2倍に延びた。

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Many want to keep working

In physical fitness tests conducted by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, the physical strength of elderly people has been improving year after year.
文部科学省による体力テストでも、高齢者の体力は年々向上している。

It may be necessary to change conventional thinking that lumps all elderly people under the label of "weak."
 高齢者を一律に弱者とみてきた旧来の意識を、変えていくことは必要だろう。

Many people in their golden years are willing to work. A Cabinet Office survey found that more than 70 percent of men and women aged 60 or older want to work even after turning 65.
 働く意欲が高い高齢者は多い。60歳以上の男女を対象にした内閣府の調査では、65歳を超えても働きたい人は7割を超える。

The new outline also set a target of creating "a society that ensures people have the opportunity to work and participate in society throughout their lives."
 高齢社会対策大綱でも、「生涯にわたって就業や社会参加の機会が確保される社会」を目指すことを掲げた。

If elderly people can work and increase their income, consumption and tax revenues will increase. This would not only help rejuvenate the economy but also secure financial sources for social security programs.
 高齢者が職に就くことで収入が増えれば、消費や税収が増える。経済の活性化はもちろん、社会保障の財源確保にもつながる。

To achieve this, more companies will have to employ people aged 70 or older. It is also necessary to provide places where elderly people can volunteer to help with child rearing or nursing care.
 それには、70歳以上の人を雇用する企業が、今以上に増える必要がある。高齢者が子育てや介護のボランティアとして活躍できる場を確保することも求められる。

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Next decade will be crucial

On the other hand, the number of elderly people requiring support from others also will increase. The demand for nursing care and medical care will continue rising sharply until about 2025, when baby boomers turn 75 or older. The coming decade or so will be crucial for determining how society can build a sustainable nursing care system for the elderly.
 一方で、支えが必要な高齢者も増えていく。団塊世代が75歳以上になる2025年ごろまで、介護や医療の需要は急増し続ける。介護体制をどう整えるか、これからの10年余が正念場となろう。

While the elderly population will increase, people of working age will continue decreasing in step with the declining birthrate. At present, there are about three people of working age to support each elderly person; this figure is forecast to fall to about one 50 years from now.
 高齢者が増える反面、少子化に伴って、現役世代の人口は減り続ける。1人の高齢者を支える現役世代の数は、現在の約3人から、50年後にはほぼ1人となる。

It is obvious that the current social security system will not be able to withstand such developments.
 現行の社会保障制度では持ちこたえられないのが、明らかだ。

A national council for social security system reform, scheduled to be established in line with an accord reached among the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, must hold in-depth discussions on how to make the social security system sustainable.
 民主、自民、公明3党の合意に基づき設置される予定の社会保障制度改革国民会議で、持続可能な社会保障制度について議論を深めるべきだ。

Each and every member of Japanese society needs to consider how they should live a life lasting 90 years, so they can support themselves as much as possible even when they reach an advanced age.
 高齢期も可能な限り自立できるよう、一人ひとりが「人生90年時代」の生き方を考えたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2012)
(2012年10月1日01時14分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-03 15:13 | 英字新聞

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