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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

New report finds governments across the world are not prepared for rapidly ageing global population

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In the face of a rapidly ageing global population, governments, health services, and other institutions are not prepared for this demographic shift, according to a new report from AARP and FP Analytics, the in-house research team at Foreign Policy magazine.

The report, Innovation and Leadership in Healthy Aging, comes at a time when people aged 60 and over already number more than one billion worldwide — a number that is expected to double to over two billion by 2050.

Innovation and Leadership in Healthy Aging explores innovative practices, policies, and approaches that foster health and well-being among older adults and makes specific recommendations across policy, services, and technology to support a productive and engaged older population.

Coinciding with the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing, the report aligns with its call for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to healthy ageing — an approach that will require public and private actors to fundamentally rethink the roles older adults can and should play in communities and economies.

For example, ageing populations will require governments around the world to re-design health systems and implement policies targeted towards supporting older people and healthy ageing more holistically.

But 75 percent of countries worldwide collect little to no data on older adults or on healthy ageing specifically, according to the report.

Further, only 54 per cent of all WHO Member States reported a country-level policy or plan that aligns with the latest WHO framework on ageing.

Produced through in-depth research, interviews, and roundtable discussions, this analysis provides specific recommendations that key actors can take to promote healthy ageing across society.

It also finds that while population ageing could have a significant effect on global wealth and GDP, efforts to facilitate older people’s social and economic engagement, as well as to ensure their health and wellbeing, remain underdeveloped and constitute a missed opportunity for growth.

While the COVID-19 pandemic exposed chronic failures of governments and communities to sufficiently protect ageing populations, this report pinpoints concrete actions that can be taken by policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to address these shortcomings and more holistically support older adults around the world.

You can find the report here.

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