Aging Well ( Rahilly, 2013 ) Essay

Aging Well ( Rahilly, 2013 ) Essay

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The first article entitled Aging Well (Rahilly, 2013) is a clear example of how media reports contribute to the perception of the elderly as a burden. The author begins by using powerfully emotive terms about the elderly, such as “epidemic” and “crisis” (Rahilly, 2013, para. 1), instilling a sense of urgency in the reader. The main purpose of the article is to discuss new studies that may improve early diagnosis and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia, and Rahilly’s use of emotive terms is extremely successful in promoting the target audience to read the entire article. In addition to the use of emotive terms, Rahilly includes statistics to demonstrate the importance of improving research. These statistics state that “over the next 45 years the number of Australians aged over 65 is expected to double” (Rahilly, 2013, para. 1). These statistics reflect those of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, therefore they contribute to the validity of Rahilly’s argument.
Despite supporting statistics, the validity of Rahilly’s article is questionable when considering her background. Annie Rahilly is the senior media advisor at the University of Melbourne, the university conducting the research presented in the article. The employment of the author at the university means that there is a possible bias in the report. Her article itself verifies this, as very little of it explores the positive aspects of aging, the exception being when discussing that “most people who worry about their memory don’t actually have [dementia]” (Rahilly, 2013, para. 8). This quote from Associate Professor Darby demonstrates the impact the media has. Fear inducing articles, such as Rahilly’s, which provide statistic after statistic about the prevale...


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... health care (2012, para. 6), demonstrating the age inequalities present in today’s society. This needs to be changed, not only because healthcare is central to the aging population (Clemson, 2012) but also because of the large costs associated with ill health. Researchers calculated the global cost of dementia alone to be US$315 billion annually (Wimo et al., 2010).
Whilst the economic and medical costs are easily identified, the social and mental costs are not so easily measured (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003). This is arguably due to the lack of knowledge about the cause and effects of dementia and AD. However, application of molecular and cell biology has facilitated rapid progress in deciphering the biological mechanism of AD (Selkoe, 2001). Despite this, AD remains to be a complex and relatively unknown disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2011).

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