At least 14% of all people aged 60 years and over – more than 142 million people – are currently unable to meet their basic daily needs, according to the Baseline report for the Decade of Healthy Ageing, recently released by the World Health Organization.
The Baseline report brings together data available for measuring healthy ageing, defined by WHO as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age.”
Optimizing “functional ability” is the goal of the Decade of Healthy Ageing, which begins in 2021 and addresses five interrelated abilities that all older people should enjoy: the ability to meet basic needs; to continue to learn and make decisions; to be mobile; to build and maintain relationships; and to contribute to society.
The Baseline report presents the experience of countries which have been successful in starting healthy ageing initiatives in each of these areas, such as Ireland, Mexico and Viet Nam. It also stresses that older adults must be engaged throughout.
“Humans now live longer than at any time in history. But adding more years to life can be a mixed blessing if it is not accompanied by adding more life to years,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “The Baseline Report for the Decade of Healthy Ageing has the potential to transform the way policy-makers and multiple service-providers engage with older adults. We have to work together, to foster the abilities and well-being of our older generations, who continue to give us so much.”
The report also discusses what is needed to promote collaboration and better measure progress towards healthy ageing. “Evidence and case studies from around the world give practical examples of what can be done in countries and communities with older people,” points out Dr Anshu Banerjee, Director of the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing at WHO.
In this direction, KMOP works towards empowering the elderly, by facilitating their participation in their communities, developing their mental and physical wellbeing and bringing them closer to new technologies.
Check out our actions 👉
Project TSITour aims at fighting the idleness of elderly people and keeping them active in the society, by enabling them to undertake the role of Local Storyteller in the tourism industry. Learn more HERE.
Project SAGE – Silver Age Learning aims at stimulating their social and spiritual activity, by training elderly people on topics such as health and well-being. Learn more HERE.