Jul 14, 2014, 6:54 PM
News Code: 2721292
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Age only a number

Tehran, July 14, IRNA -- The world's population is getting older. People are living longer, thanks to improvements in healthcare, nutrition and technology.

Tuesday edition of the English language newspaper Iran Daily writes that as a result, the elderly constitute a large proportion of every nation's population.

Old age is not something society tends to view in a glowing and positive way most of the time. Much of the advice is about pretending that old age is something that won't ever catch up with us.

However, age is only a number, if we know that being old does not mean being inactive or sick, despite many diseases associated with it.

It also means that how people are healthy, active and happy could decide how old they are.

Many young persons may be considered old despite their young age and there are still many old-age persons who feel young.

Despite the fact that age is only a number, many nations have chosen to refer to 60—when people usually become retired—as the onset of aging.

In addition to this, two types of old age have been defined. One is “young-elderly”, which refers to people aged between 70 and 85 and the other is the “old-elderly” for people above 85.

By 2050, the number of Iranian adults of ages 60 and above will reach 25 million, according to figures released by Statistical Center of Iran.

At present, the elderly constitute 7.4 percent of Iran's population, which means over 5 million people or one-third of the country's population are above 60.

Iranians have an average life expectancy of 75 and a growing number of active elderly people—about 15 percent at present—are still active in workplaces and not confined to their homes.

Gilan, North Khorasan, Markazi, Hamedan and Semnan provinces have registered the highest rate of old people, as life expectancy is higher in these places.

Statistics show 70.2 percent of Iranian elderly are married, 1.7 percent are single and 28.1 percent are divorcees, widows or widowers.

The result of a study conducted by Iran's State Welfare Organization also showed 67.2 percent of old people are relatively satisfied with their life.

The outcome of the study indicated that 51 percent of those above 60 years have been hospitalized two or three times.

The figures also revealed that 37.88 percent of Iran's elderly population suffer from a type of mental disorder linked to depression and feelings of guilt.

However, the number of centers offering care to seniors is on the rise.

Old age is a time to be celebrated as much as any other time in the full cycle of life and it's a time when the elderly can find deep self-fulfillment and happiness.

For many people, it's the first time in their lives when they get the opportunity of living without being burdened by the expectations and ideas of others.