Ageing well must be a global priority

Ageing well must be a global priortiy

Worldwide people are living longer, and by 2020 the over 60s will outnumber the amount of children under 5 for the first time in history. 

This increase in lifespan has seen an increase in the amount of cases of long-term illnesses such as osteoporosis. 

"Deep and fundamental reforms of health and social care systems will be required," says Dr John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organization (WHO). "It will be important that countries monitor the health and functioning of their ageing populations to understand health trends and design programmes that meet the specific needs identified," adds Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Informatics at WHO. 

Strategies to improve the quality of life of older people and reduce the incidence of long-term illnesses such as osteoporosis need to be a priority. Emphasising the prevention and early detection of osteoporosis is also important, along with training health care professionals to manage chronic conditions. 

According to Dr Chatterji, also from the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at WHO, "Collectively, we need to look beyond the costs commonly associated with ageing to think about the benefits that an older, healthier, happier, and more productive older population can bring to society as a whole."

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