You searched for: “gerontology
gerontology (s) (noun), gerontologies (pl)
1. The study of all aspects of aging and the phenomena of old age: Edda decided to read up on gerontology because her grandmother was already 85 years old and needing extra help in the house.
2. Research in the study of aging as a biological, sociological, and psychological process; geriatric medicine: The branch of gerontology in medicine interested Ralph and he decided to do more investigating in this area since his grandparents were already up in their 90s.
3. The scientific study of the process and problems of aging and of age-related diseases of humans: Nancy thought that she could specialize in gerontology knowing that the population where she lived was getting older and older and requiring special medical attention.
The scientific study of old age.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

Aging, a potential crisis in China

  • The proportion of elderly people is growing faster in China than in any major country, with the number of retirees set to double between 2005 and 2015, when it will reach 200 million.
  • By mid-century, 430 million people (about a third of the population) will be retirees.
  • That increase will place enormous demands on the country's finances and could threaten the underpinnings of the Chinese economy, which has thrived for decades on the cheap labor of hundreds of millions of young, uneducated workers from the countryside.
  • Changes in China's population structure are taking place hand in hand with changes in the structure of the family.
  • The country's so-called one-child policy, which began in 1980, means that beginning with the current gene5ration of young adults, couples will face the stark task of caring for four parents through old age.
  • In addition, the ratio of workers to retired people will decline from about six to one now to about two to one by 2040.
  • Of course, raising the retirement age from the current 50 to 55 for women and 55 to 60 for men to bring them more in line with international norms would ease a substantial amount of pressure on the pension system.
  • Raising the retirement ages presents another set of problems for the government, Chinese social security experts say.
  • Last year, for example, 4.13 million young Chinese graduated from universities, and fully 30 percent of them are still unemployed.
  • Unemployment is high among non-university graduates, as well. Prolonging employment for older workers would make this predicament worse, possibly with volatile consequences.
  • Meanwhile, breaking a lifelong promise and abruptly extending the retirement age would create another large class of malcontents.
  • The bind that China finds itself in takes form in an often-posed question: Can the country grow rich before it grows old? Increasingly, experts in China say the answer, which also has huge implication for the global economy, appears doubtful.
  • For all of the experts' talk of a looming crisis, many Chinese seem only dimly aware of the country's predicament and many middle-aged people say they have only belatedly begun to prepare themselves for retirement.
—Excerpts from "China is aging toward potential pension crisis" by Howard W. French,
International Herald Tribune, March 21, 2007; page 2.
This entry is located in the following units: gero-, geri-, ger-, geronto-, geront- (page 3) -ology, -logy, -ologist, -logist (page 31)