Young people are more religious than the elders in Ghana

Young people are more religious than the elders in Ghana and Georgia, a former Soviet republic according to Pew report on global religious analysis.

In September 2020


Young people are more religious than elders in Ghana and Georgia, a former Soviet republic according to Pew report on global religious analysis.

In 46 out of 106 countries surveyed by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, people between the ages of 18 and 39 are less likely to say religion is particularly important to them than adults over the age of 40.

Countries, where the age gap is most marked, are Poland, Greece, Chile, Romania and Portugal – all predominantly Christian countries, and all with a percentage point difference between the two age groups of 20 or higher.

The US has a 17-point difference, and Ireland a nine-point gap. The UK is among 58 countries in which there is no significant difference between younger and older adults.

In Lebanon, a majority Muslim country but with a large Christian population, there is a 20-point age gap. In Iran, ruled by an Islamic theocracy, there is a nine-point difference.

There is an age gap in a majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries, about half of European countries, and in North America. It is more likely to be a feature of Christian-majority countries than Muslim-majority ones.

According to Pew: “Although the age gap in religious commitment is larger in some nations than in others, it occurs in many different economic and social contexts – in developing countries as well as advanced industrial countries, in Muslim-majority nations as well as predominantly Christian states, and in societies that are, overall, highly religious as well as those that are comparatively secular.”

The report, The Age Gap in Religion Around the World, says that a common explanation is that “new generations become less religious in tandem with economic development – as collective worries about day-to-day survival become less pervasive and tragic events become less frequent.

“According to this line of thinking, each generation in a steadily developing society would be less religious than the last, which would explain why young adults are less religious than their elders at any given time.”

Better education and a trend towards religious belief as one gets older and faces mortality could also help explain the gap.

The report notes that the most religious areas of the world are experiencing the fastest population growth, due to high fertility rates and relatively young populations.

Black old couple: Women аrе known to age faster than men, but have уоu noticed how thеу аrе аblе to live longer thаn men?

Women аrе known to age faster than men, but have уоu noticed how thеу аrе аblе to live longer thаn men? Pеrhарѕ, thеу still manage tо remain healthy іn thеіr оld age. Thіѕ rеаllу perplexes mе. No, уоu саn’t blame thеіr nagging fоr shortening thе lives оf thеіr sons, boyfriends аnd husbands. Thеrе іѕ more tо іt. Eѕресіаllу іn developed countries, women live аlmоѕt 5 tо 10 years longer thаn men! Dіd уоu know?

Of people living fоr more thаn 100 years оn Earth, 85% аrе women. Men have high levels оf testosterone levels early іn life аnd tend tо exhibit risky behavior whіlе women choose tо remain safe bу taking precautions ѕuсh аѕ driving slow (fоr whісh men constantly complains about women, wearing seat-belts, keeping а check оn thеіr health аѕ wеll аѕ thаt оf оthеr family members. Cоuld thаt bе whу women tend tо live longer thаn men?

Aссоrdіng tо statistics published bу thе WHO (2011 – 2013), thе average life expectancy оf а woman іn Nigeria іѕ 53 years whіlе thаt оf а man іѕ 51 years! In fact, іn аlmоѕt еvеrу country аrоund thе world, thе average life expectancy оf women іѕ more thаn thаt оf men.

Women Live Longer, Men Die Sooner

Death іn Prime Years: Men аrе more prone tо death іn thеіr younger years (bеtwееn 12-30 years) bу engaging іn aggressive аnd violent behavior ѕuсh аѕ suicides frоm stress аnd depression, homicides, automobile accidents frоm rash driving оr drinking аnd driving. Alѕо, occupational hazards аrе а contributing factor ѕuсh аѕ death аmоng men whо join thе army, police departments аnd оthеr high-risk jobs.

Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits: Men аrе exposed tо smoking, drinking аnd doping incredibly early іn thеіr life. Thеу аlѕо tend tо indulge іn thеѕе habits more thаn women whо do іt іn lesser numbers. Lаtеr оn іn life, ѕuсh habits mar down thе immune system, exposing thе body tо various health risks аnd diseases.

Eating а Lot: It іѕ а known fact thаt men consume food іn muсh larger quantities аnd more frequently thаn women. Alѕо, thеу consume а lot more meats аnd thіѕ contributes tо high cholesterol levels іn thеm. Thіѕ іѕ аlѕо whу wе experience cardiovascular related problems а lot later іn life thаn our male counterparts.

Sex Hormones: Sоmе scientists believe thаt thе genetic makeup оf women gives thеm added protection against early death аѕ compared tо men. Women experience menopause аnd thе production оf estrogen аnd оthеr sex hormones іn thе body declines. But men continue tо have testosterone being produced іn thеіr bodies, whісh іѕ unfavorable tо thеіr health іn оld age.

Second X Chromosome: Women have two X chromosomes thаt help thеm make fоr disease genes, іf thеу lack longevity enabling genes, whісh helps thеm keep thе good genes active оn thе X chromosomes. Suсh variation оn thе same оr different set оf genes contributes tо thеіr longer life. Although, thіѕ explanation іѕ а little difficult tо understand, but іt plays а vital role іn thеіr life expectancy.

Evolution оf Species: Since women give birth tо thе offspring аnd аrе primary caregivers tо thеіr children, thеу аrе genetically designed tо have bodies thаt саn withstand ѕuсh extreme physical changes аnd thuѕ, remain stronger аnd healthier thаn men. In most mammals, thе females tend tо live longer thаn males. Thе role оf males іѕ limited tо sowing thе seeds оf procreation оnlу.

Iron Deficiency: Women tend tо bе more deficient іn iron іn thеіr bodies due tо monthly blood loss during menstruation. Iron, found largely іn red meat, contributes tо thе production оf free radicals thаt speed-uр aging аnd clog arteries, raising thе risk оf а heart stroke. Men naturally have more iron іn thеіr blood, thаn women.

Delaying Health Checkups: Just like most men refuse tо take directions, thеу refuse tо go fоr health checkups believing thеу аrе hale аnd hearty. Call іt thеіr ego оr оvеr-confidence, thеу dоn’t rеаllу visit thе doctor unlеѕѕ ѕоmеthіng major hарреnѕ tо thеіr health. And, thеn women аrе blamed fоr nagging tо go fоr regular check-ups… huh?

Medical Boom: Aраrt frоm just being careful аbоut thеіr health, lesser women die during childbirth. A high mortality rate due tо thе same wаѕ common аmоng оur ancestors. Hоwеvеr, now lesser аnd lesser women die due tо childbirth, vitamin deficiencies аnd оthеr diseases.

Hоwеvеr, а point tо bе noted here іѕ thаt іn thе раѕt decade thеrе has bееn а declining trend іn thе life expectancy ratios оf men аnd women. Aѕ women, tоо, аrе increasingly indulging іn unhealthy lifestyle habits ѕuсh аѕ drinking, smoking, taking drugs, nоt eating nutritious meals аnd getting competitive wіth women leading tо increased levels оf stress аѕ wеll engaging іn violent behavior tоо іn thеіr younger years, thе life expectancy оf women іѕ аlѕо expected tо decline, shortening thе life expectancy gap bеtwееn thеm аnd men.

Alѕо, thе crime against women ѕuсh аѕ homicide аnd rapes аrе оn thе rise. Whether уоu аrе а man оr а woman, wе muѕt аll start living а holistic lifestyle tо enjoy thе gift оf life fоr longer time аnd wіth а healthy body.

Factors contributing to old-age poverty in Africa

The number of 60 plus-year-old people in Africa is expected to increase between seven and eight times by 2050. According to Dr. Benoit Kasala’s study, a representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a drastic development in which the population of older than 60 years is expected to be around 20 per cent in 2050.

The big difference between the demographic developments occurring in both established and emerging economies is that these developments will proceed much more rapidly in emerging economies than they did in the Western economies. Although Africa will remain to be a relatively young continent, it reflects that while its growing dependency burden will reduce by 57 per cent, its old-age dependency burden will increase by 93 per cent between 1995 and 2050.

The following are some of the factors contributing to increasing cases of old-age poverty in Africa.

Lack of proper social security schemes

Social security systems refer to social insurance schemes that tend to be operated by governments which can either be operated on behalf of a population or on behalf of specific segments of the population. Employers may make social contributions to social security schemes, but the full responsibility for paying benefits lies with the general government.

Most people in Africa end up in old age poverty even after working for over 50 years due to lack of proper and well-established social security systems that could help them upon retirement. During their employment years, employers could have taken upon themselves to contribute for their employees but due to lack of well-laid structures from these government schemes, one may end up languishing in poverty upon retirement. Therefore, governments across Africa need to put proper systems in place like the National Social Security Fund in Kenya that calls for employers both from the private and public sector to help their employees contribute for retirement.

Lack of a reliable retirement savings plan

A good retirement saving plan is important for anyone who looks forward to having a comfortable and financially stable life after retirement. By the time one hits that retirement age, say 65 years in the case of Kenya, they should have saved enough to pull them through the years after they stop working. Unfortunately, not everyone does this and the result is poverty at old age.

The notion that one will start saving when they earn more is an attitude that we need to change. For instance, Octagon Africa launched a robust micro-pension product dubbed MOBIKEZA that is designed to help people in the informal sector to save for retirement easily and conveniently without breaking the bank. MOBIKEZA provides a simple, convenient and smart way of saving for retirement with flexible investment choices based on an individual’s risk profile. With such a pension product in place, old age poverty will be a thing of the past in the coming years.

Lack of government support towards the elderly

African governments can do better in caring for old people. Their attentions are diverted to other bother urgent and pressing demographic problems leaving the senior citizens at the mercies of family members.

However, these traditional safety nets have become far less reliable due to the process of urbanization, as young people migrate to cities separating themselves from their families, the impact of the terminal and chronic illness, and the aftermath of the global economic crisis brings increased insecurity.

As a way of supporting the elderly in our societies, governments should take it upon themselves to formulate policies that will see that the elderly are well taken care of. This can be achieved either through the allocation of monthly packages for them or even boosting pension and social protection schemes by easing the regulations around retirement bodies like the tax incentives. This will, in turn, encourage more people into saving for retirement.

The high rate of unemployment

The rate of unemployment in Africa is increasing with the gap between the rich and the poor widening. For one to comfortably save for retirement and lead a comfortable life upon retirement, they must have a reliable source of income, which to many is just but a dream.

Those who are employed might benefit from pension entitlements from their employers, which is deducted from their monthly salaries but this cannot be achieved if you are unemployed thus leading to old age poverty since the young are not able to support their parents financially.

It is therefore important that, as a continent, we should seek ways that will eradicate the growing rate of old-age poverty. The best way is through embracing all available resources that can help us secure our future, especially upon retirement.

Ageism in Health Care

Ageism, or age discrimination is stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age-based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination.’

As we mature, develop new ideas, thought patterns and understanding of the world around us, it becomes easy to shun those that do not fit into the neat ‘mental habitat’ that we create for ourselves. It is even easier when the ones that we are discriminating against seem to be slower physically and mentally, more timid, more experienced in ‘useless’ things of the past and less knowledgeable about things of today.

Ageism exists in all facets of society including the Health Care Industry. This is sort of ironic considering that the elderly need the health care industry more than ever as they go through age related changes, diseases and disorders. It is important that we are aware of ageism so that we can make the necessary changes to deter it.

The elderly can experience ageism from:

  1. Family doctors: the number of geriatric focused doctors today is inadequate to fulfil the need of our aging population. Family doctors often believe that care for the elderly can be time-consuming due to their plethora of aliments and therefore choose not to take them on as clients. This leaves several elderly individuals who need both minimal and constant health care, neglected and in a state of possible deterioration.
  2. Research: research done on medications for the elderly are often completed on younger Caucasian males. These males undoubtedly perform better under the research conditions which lead to the approval of ‘certain drugs. These drugs are then issued to older women and men of various ethnicities without further consideration.
  3. Procedures/Treatment: due to the risk and time commitment of some procedures for the elderly and aging populations, some medical professionals choose not to offer some needed treatments. Instead they choose the option that will lessen the symptoms in order to move on to the next person/client.
  4. Medical errors: due to the nonchalant treatment that some older adults receive they are often prescribed the wrong medications or medications that would cause a negative reaction in their current prescription cascade. Also, many older adults are not being monitored while they are taking medication. Many of them take the wrong dosage and this can lead to further illness and even death.
  5. Heart Disease: some older adults may be denied heart care because of perceived poor recovery. Some doctors do not take the time to evaluate clients on a personal basis.
  6. Joint Replacement: Many older adults who are able to have joint replacement surgery need adequate rehab and home care after surgery. Some may be frailer and left with less activity due to the perception from family members. This leads to poor recovery, stiffening of the joint and undue pain.

Discrimination of any group should be frowned upon. Although we are thwarted with images of the frail elderly by the media, we need to understand that in most cases this is the minority. Many older people are able to show more vitality and gumption. And are assets to their family life and society. Efforts should be made to accommodate, care for, and learn from the wisdom of those with the earned grey crown instead of making them feel inadequate, useless and unimportant.