“It is not age that limits the health and participation of older people. Rather, it is individual and societal misconceptions, discrimination and abuse that prevent active and dignified ageing” – World Health Organization
Key facts (provided by the WHO website)
· The number of people today aged 60 and over has doubled since 1980.
· The number of people aged 80 years will almost quadruple to 395 million between now and 2050.
· Within the next five years, the number of adults aged 65 and over will outnumber children under the age of 5.
· By 2050, these older adults will outnumber all children under the age of 14.
· The majority of older people live in low- or middle-income countries. By, 2050, this number will have increased to 80%.
April 7 – it’s my grandmother’s 76th birthday, my cat – she turns 12, but more importantly, globally, it’s World Health Day; and this year’s theme is Aging and Health.
This Saturday, World Health Day will be celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is “a global campaign, inviting everyone – from global leaders to the public in all countries – to focus on a single health challenge with global impact. Focusing on new and emerging health issues, World Health Day provides an opportunity to start collective action to protect people's health and well-being.”
This year’s focus – how good health adds life to your years – intends on informing aging men and women on how they can lead full and productive lives and continue to contribute to the growth of their families and communities.
Most importantly, WHO targets the six stereotypes that are conflicted with the process of aging:
1. Older people are “past their sell-by date”
2. Older people are helpless
3. Older people will eventually become senile
4. Older women have less value than younger women
5. Older people don’t deserve health care