Vietnamese people have a relatively long life expectancy but many elderly people have to ‘co-habit’ with different illnesses for many years.
According to the General Department of Population and Family Planning, the number of elderly people in Việt Nam is expected to increase to 16.8 million in 2039 and reach 25.2 million in 2069.
Currently, the average life expectancy of Vietnamese people is 73.6 years with women having a longer life expectancy than men.
It is worth mentioning that, on average, the elderly in Việt Nam suffer from three to four diseases.
Vietnamese people have a relatively high life expectancy compared to other countries with the same standard of living, but have a higher number of years living with illness.
Dr. Phạm Vũ Hoàng, the general department’s deputy director, said that the issue of adapting to an aging population and caring for the health of the elderly is always a concern of the country because Việt Nam is currently has one of the fastest aging populations in the world.
Việt Nam began its population aging period in 2011 with the number of people aged 65 and older accounting for 7 per cent of the total population and after ten years, the number rose to 8.3 per cent of the total population, equivalent to 8.16 million elderly people, Hoàng said.
It is forecasted that in Việt Nam from 2036 the proportion of the population aged 65 and over will reach 14.2 per cent of the total population, Hoàng said.
An older population brings both opportunities and challenges.
Regarding opportunities, an older population can promote the development of fields such as insurance, banking, nutrition, tourism, technological innovation and applications of production and management in the context of a shortage of labour.
However, an older population also poses serious challenges in economic growth, social security, labour, and infrastructure, especially in the field of health care.
Elderly people often suffer from many non-communicable diseases that require long-term treatment such as blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, hearing loss, and sleep disorders, among others.
Medical experts say that in order to help the elderly live happily, healthily, and usefully, mental health care for the elderly needs to be given more attention along with physical health. Disease prevention plays an important role, in which maintaining the habit of regular health checks, monitoring diseases and complying with medication use as prescribed by doctors is necessary.
The theme of Action Month 2023 of “The Elderly Are Fully Promoted and Cared for” has a profound humanistic meaning, especially in the context of Việt Nam being a country with a rapidly aging population.
In recent years, the Party and State have focused on caring for and protecting the elderly, including medical care.
Many policies and programmes for health care in particular and care for the elderly in general have been issued and implemented across the country.
Resolution No. 21-NQ/TW dated October 25, 2017 of the Party Central Committee on population has set the goal of adapting to an aging population.
Việt Nam’s Population Strategy to 2030 once again reaffirms that goal to contribute to rapid and sustainable development of the country.
Source: Vietnam News