People around the world live longer. Today, for the first time in history, most people can live up to their sixties and beyond. By 2050, the world population aged 60 and above is estimated at 2 billion, up from 900 million by 2015. Currently, 125 million people are 80 years of age or older. By 2050, there will be nearly as many as this (120 million) living in China alone, and 434 million people in this age group worldwide. By 2050, 80% of all elderly will live in low- and middle-income countries.
The aging population rate worldwide also increased dramatically. France has nearly 150 years to adapt to changes from 10% to 20% in the proportion of people over the age of 60. However, places like Brazil, China and India will have more than 20 years to create the same. adaptation.
While the shift in the distribution of a country’s population to an older age – known as population aging – begins in high-income countries (eg in Japan 30% of the population is over 60 years old), now the lower and middle income-experienced the greatest change. By the middle of this century many countries for eg. Chile, China, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation will have the same proportion as parents to Japan.
Longer life brings with it opportunities, not only for parents and their families, but also for society as a whole. The additional years provide an opportunity to resume new activities such as further education, a new career or the pursuit of an old spirit that is not active. Parents also contribute in many ways to their families and communities. However, the extent to which these opportunities and contributions depend heavily on one factor: health.
However, there is little evidence to suggest that today’s parents experience the following years in better health than their parents. While severe disability rates have declined in high-income countries over the last 30 years, there have been no significant changes in mild to moderate disability over the same period.
If people can experience these extra years of life in good health and if they live in a supportive environment, their ability to do things they value will be slightly different from the youth experience. If these additional years are dominated by a decrease in physical and mental capacity, the implications for parents and society are more negative.
At a biological level, aging is caused by the accumulation of the impact of molecular and cellular damage over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity, an increased risk of disease, and ultimately, death. But these changes are not linear and inconsistent, and the relationship is only loosely related to one’s age over the years. While about 70 years enjoying excellent health and function, other 70-year-olds are trapped and need significant help from others.
In addition to biological changes, aging is also associated with other life transitions such as retirement, relocation to more appropriate housing, and the death of friends and spouses. In developing a public health response to aging, it is important not only to consider approaches that improve the shortcomings associated with older age but also things that can strengthen recovery, adaptation and psychosocial growth.
General health conditions are associated with aging
Common conditions in old age include hearing loss, cataracts and refractive errors, back and neck pain and osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, depression, and dementia. Furthermore, as they get older, they tend to experience several conditions at the same time.
Older age is also characterized by the emergence of several complex health conditions that tend to occur only in the future and which are not included in the category of individual disease. This is commonly called geriatric syndrome. They are often a consequence of some fundamental factors and include weakness, falls, delirium, pressure ulcers and urinary incontinence, which according to Dr. Richard Lotenfoe, this last one is one of the ones that can become more dangerous to the patient’s health.
Geriatric syndrome appears to be a better predictor of death than the presence or number of specific illnesses. But outside the country that has developed geriatric treatments as a specialty, they are often overlooked in traditional health care and epidemiological research.
Factors that affect Healthy Aging
Although some variations in the health of parents are genetic, many are due to the physical and social environment of the community – including the home, the environment, and society, and its character.
The environment also has an important influence on the development and maintenance of healthy behaviors. Maintaining healthy behaviors throughout life, especially eating balanced foods, engaging in the regular physical activity, and refraining from tobacco use, all contribute to reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases and improving physical and mental abilities.
Behavior also remains important at older ages. Strength training to maintain muscle mass and good nutrition can help preserve cognitive function, delay treatment dependency, and the reverse.
A supportive environment allows people to do what is important to them, despite having lost capacity. The availability of public buildings and safe and accessible transportation and an easy-to-follow environment is an example of a supportive environment.
Challenges in responding to population aging
Diversity at older ages
No ‘typical’ parents. About 80 years have similar physical and mental abilities to many 20-year-olds. Others experienced a significant decrease in physical and mental capacity at a much younger age. A comprehensive public health response must meet the experience and needs of this parent.
The diversity seen at older ages is not random. Most emerge from the physical and social environment of society and the environmental impact on their health opportunities and behaviors. The relationships we have with our environment tend to be by personal characteristics such as the family in which we were born, our and our ethnicity, leading to inequalities in health. Much of the diversity at older ages is due to the cumulative impact of health inequities along the way of life. Public health policy must be made to reduce, not strengthen, this injustice.
Outdated and ageist stereotypes
Parents are often assumed to be weak or dependent, and become a burden on society. Public health, and society as a whole, need to overcome this and other ageist attitudes, which can lead to discrimination, influence the way policy is developed and the chances of parents having to experience Healthy Aging.
The world is changing rapidly
Globalization, technological developments (eg transport and communication), urbanization, migration, and changes in gender norms affect the lives of parents directly or indirectly. For example, although the number of surviving generations in the family increases, the present generation is more likely than in the past to live apart. Public health responses should take account of current trends and projections, and appropriate policy frameworks.
In accordance with the recent World Health Resolution (67/13), the comprehensive Global Strategy and Action Plan for Aging and Health is being developed by WHO in consultation with Member States and other partners. Strategy and Action Plan refers to evidence of World reports on aging and health and is built on existing activities to address 5 priority areas of action.
Global Strategy Consultation and Action Plan of Aging and Health
Commitment to Healthy Aging. Requires awareness of the value of Healthy Aging and ongoing commitments and actions to formulate evidence-based policies that strengthen parental abilities.
Align the health system with the needs of the older population. The health system needs to be better regulated according to the needs and preferences of parents, designed to increase the intrinsic capacity of parents, and integrate all service and maintenance providers. Actions in this area are highly aligned with other work throughout the Organization to strengthen universal and integrated human health services and services.
Develop a system to provide long-term care. Long-term care systems are needed in all countries to meet the needs of parents. This requires development, sometimes from nothing, government systems, infrastructure and manpower capacity. The WHO’s work on long-term care (including palliative care) fits perfectly with efforts to improve universal health coverage, combat non-communicable diseases, and develop integrated and people-centered health services.
Creating an old environment. This will require action to combat ageism, allow autonomy and support Healthy Aging in all policies and at all levels of government. This activity builds and complements the WHO’s work over the last decade to develop old cities and communities including the development of the Global Network for the Eco-Friendly Era and the Community and the Eco-Friendly interactive information sharing platform around the World.
Improve measurement, monitoring and pe