Plan Of Action For The Aging
‘The International Day for Older Persons’ will be celebrated on October 1st, 2015, throughout the world. The wisdom and achievements of the elderly are acknowledged and new ideas are generated to encourage advocacy for the rights of older people throughout the world. It ¡s a time for governments to review their progress to work towards the Millennium Development Goals of helping to end hunger and poverty for older persons.
The year 1999 was celebrated as the ‘International Year for Older Persons’ to promote the theme of working to create a society for all ages on 2002, the United Nations adopted an International Plan of Action on Aging in which various governments pledged to work for the security of older persons, as well as to empower them so that they can “participate fully in the economic, political and social lives of their societies.
Population Ageing Phenomenon
Due to the increase in life expectancy and the decreasing fertility rates, the population above 60 years of age is increasing more than any other age group. And according to WHO, this phenomenon of ‘population ageing’ is seen as a success story for public health policies and socioeconomic development, but at the same time, ¡lis a great responsibility on governments, challenging society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people as well as their social participation and security.
A lot depends on how society views these individuals, encourages them, recognizes or ridicules their experience; this matters immensely. A major drawback in our society is the tack of provision of age friendly transportation along with ease of access to public transport for the disabled regardless of any functional limitations they may have.
Behind Mortality Rates
By 2050. the world population of 60 and over, would have reached two billion, indicating the huge success of the public health system. But the concept of people living longer without emphasis on good health and fulfilling lives has no meaning. We do not have accurate information on this now, but we do know they are living longer. The question is to assess how these years are spent – are they lived in good health, poor health or In misery at the mercy of others?
Much depends on where one lives, bringing us back to the fact that eighty per cent of these people will be living in what are now low-income or middle income countries, that is eight out of every 10 seniors will be living in under developed countries. Senior housing, intergenerational bonding and long-term care are some of the pressing issues is these countries, apart from ease of transportation.
Preventive Health Care Measures
Challenges to overcome outdated myths and concepts and “ageist perspectives on what getting older means for the individual and for society are visible the world over. It is a common belief that providing health services for an ageing population is expensive, but studies have shown that no matter what one’s age is, the last 18 months of life become the most demanding on caregivers and the health system.
Preventive healthcare measures in the early 50’s and a major drive to record end of lite wishes and paying dose attention to them, if implemented well, can result in huge savings, especially when after 80 years of age. These and an acceptance and understanding by the individual and society of the challenges that go with a longer lifespan are areas we need to work on and strengthen.