Health For AllAgeing GracefullyUN Progress Report Highlights Efforts to Improve Lives of Older People

UN Progress Report Highlights Efforts to Improve Lives of Older People

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and UN partners have released the first progress report for the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing. The report highlights efforts to improve the lives of older people since 2020. Capturing the impact of major challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affected older populations. The report also details activities in support of healthy ageing in nearly 50 countries.

The Global Initiative

The UN Decade of Healthy Ageing is a global initiative that aims to improve the lives of older people by changing how people think, feel, and act about age and aging; ensuring communities foster the abilities of older people; delivering person-centered, integrated care and primary health services responsive to older people; and providing access to long-term care for older people in need.

To assess progress towards these goals, the WHO and its partners conducted a survey of 136 countries in late 2022 and early 2023. The survey found that there has been some progress in recent years. The number of countries reporting legislation against ageism and legislation to support older people’s access to assistive products increased by over 20%. Additionally, there was a significant increase. Many countries now have national policies on comprehensive assessments of health and social care needs for aging populations. There are also national programs for age-friendly cities and communities.

Despite this progress, the report also highlights the challenges that remain. Fewer than a third of countries reported having adequate resources to deliver on the UN Decade’s four areas of action. In addition, there is a significant gap between policies and their implementation. For example, while many countries have policies in place to prevent ageism, these policies are often not enforced.

The report also calls for greater involvement of older people in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Currently, only one in three countries with a forum on healthy ageing includes older people.

Also Read: Mediclinic Middle East Introduces ‘Healthy Ageing’ Program for UAE Residents Aged 50+

What Next

Despite these challenges, the WHO remains optimistic that it can make significant progress in the remaining years of the UN Decade. The organization is working with countries to build national capacities in data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and health worker training. The WHO is also supporting the development of age-friendly cities and communities and efforts to combat ageism. The organization will issue the next progress report in 2026, followed by the release of a final impact report in 2029.

Key Takeaways

• The UN Decade of Healthy Ageing continues to progress towards its goals, but there is still much more work to be done.
• Governments need to commit more resources to the Decade’s goals.
• There is a need for greater involvement of older people in decision-making processes.

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