“But this is not enough”.
The WHO report indicates existing health care systems are not created to respond to these problems and that there must be a fundamental shift in the way society thinks about aging and older people, and that the environment is a crucial factor in determining whether people experience healthy aging.
Older persons are an enormous asset to society and make a significant contribution to global development United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his messagemarking the 25th anniversary of the worldwide Day of Older Persons.
“Unfortunately 70 does not yet appear to be the new 60”, said Dr. John Beard, director of WHO’s Department of Ageing and Life Course. “But it could be”.
“Many of our clubs, support groups and services such as Meals on Wheels rely on the older people volunteering to continue their good work in our communities”. She says that longer lives will require on health and social systems that provide care for older people.
Based on the WHO report, it would not only be foolish, but also possibly even suicidal, for Singapore to ignore its one major resource – just because that’s the way the rest of the world view their older people.
“As we look to the future, we need to appreciate the importance of ageing in the lives of women, particularly in poorer countries”, according to Dr. Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director- General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health.
Dr Jeremy Lim, who heads the health and life sciences practice at consulting firm Oliver Wyman, said: “Singapore is pretty much headed in the right direction”. In fact, active ageing allows people to realise their potential, contribute their utmost to society and aims at extending healthy life expectancy.
Equality on the basis of age curbs negative age-related stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes towards older persons and instead highlights the invaluable contribution that older persons make.
Researchers and health professionals from the UoM are participating in a number of events related to the campaign including a flash mob with younger and older peopleacross the city on October 1 and a celebration of worldwide Older Person’s Day in Levenshulme.
The charity has estimated that six million people aged sixty and over, now live with two or more long-term health conditions in England, a figure which is expected to increase to more than seven million by 2020. This means improving security for elders and preventing social isolation and loneliness. But since chronic and degenerative diseases are more common at older ages, they result in an increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases at the population level.
Initiatives that have already proved successful can be expanded and introduced in other countries.
Successful initiatives can be expanded to more countries, it said, giving the example of Brazil’s teams composed of different specialists such as physiotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, doctors and nurses. Governments need to develop long-term care systems that can reduce inappropriate use of acute health services and ensure people live their last years with dignity, ” said the WHO.