World report on ageing and health
Ten days ago, the World Health Organization released a global report on ageing stressing that governments are missing essential policies to”enable older people to continue participating in society.”
The report says, “policy needs to shift from an emphasis on controlling costs, to a greater focus on enabling older people to do the things that matter to them.”
Three areas are identified for global action on ageing:
- Make the places we live in much more friendly to older people
- Shift the focus of health care systems from curing acute disease to systems that can provide ongoing care for the chronic conditions that are more prevalent in older age
- Develop long-term care systems that can reduce inappropriate use of acute health services and ensure people live their last years with dignity.
As in-home care providers, we found the WHO’s report to be thorough, honest and incredibly uplifting. On the subject of ageing in place, for example, we read:
“In deciding where to live, older people often view their existing home or community as having the advantages of maintaining a sense of connection, security and familiarity, and as being related to their sense of identity and autonomy. Indeed, the right for all people with some form of functional limitation to live and be included in their community is a central focus of the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.”
Of course there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that’s why this report is so important in identifying the issues as well as the opportunities to do better by older adults worldwide.