The world is aging faster than ever before. By the year 2050, for the first time in history, adults over the age of 60 will outnumber children under the age of 15.
That leaves families and governments struggling to answer the question: Who will care for the old?
In many cases, the answer is nobody.
Most countries are simply not prepared to deal with their swelling populations of older people, according to a report just released by the United Nations and an elder care group. Only one in five older people worldwide has a pension, let alone health care. And social and economic pressures are eroding the traditional structures where families look after their old.
Despite this increasingly urgent dilemma, many older people remain invisible to much of society, their concerns and needs ignored. So Associated Press photographers fanned out across the world to bear witness to their worries and ask two key questions: As you grow older, what are you most afraid of? And what is the biggest problem facing the elderly in your country?
The responses highlight fears about a lack of food and housing, forced dependence upon children and simply being alone. As 80-year-old Pedro Vega Yucra of Peru puts it: "As you become old, no one cares."
Click through to see portraits of older people from around the world and learn their stories.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Santa Fe police are working on a new way to put a stop to busy burglars. Instead of throwing them in jail they want to put them rehab.
A winter storm warning has been issued for Albuquerque and surrounding areas through 11 p.m. Thursday.
Tempers flared Wednesday night at the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education meeting as the firestorm over teacher evaluations and student testing continues.
An Albuquerque man says an emergency vet clinic turned away his dying dog because he didn't have enough cash in his pocket to pay to save him. The dog later died.
Closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday in the final sentencing phase of John McCluskey's federal murder trial. The same jury that convicted him of killing an Oklahoma couple, must now decide whether McCluskey should face the death penalty.
Today’s top weather and news stories with Elizabeth Alvarez, Matt Mauro and meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
* Snow Storm
* Road Conditions
* N.E. Heights Winter Storm
*Weather in the West
* Sheriff Houston
* Toys for Tots
* Winter Weather Coverage
* Board of Education Meeting
* DWI Laws
* Anthony Stanford Sexual Harassment