Time for the world to invest in healthy ageing
By: Alana Officer
More people than ever are living beyond the age of 60, but longevity doesn’t equate to good health.
The world needs to change its perception of older people and invest in age-friendly communities, including health and long-term care, so they can continue to contribute to society.
A new UN initiative ‘Decade of Healthy Ageing’ aims to bring stakeholders together to improve the prospects of current and future generations of older people.
Today, for the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their 60s and beyond. Longer lives, combined with marked falls in fertility rates, has led to an increase in both the number and proportion of people aged 60 and older around the world. This increase is occurring at an unprecedented pace and it will accelerate in coming decades, particularly in developing countries.
A longer life is an incredibly valuable resource. It provides the opportunity to rethink not just what older age might be, but how our whole lives might unfold. Yet the extent of the opportunities that arise from increasing longevity will depend heavily on one key factor: health.