BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Global Health and an Aging Population



An aging Population is a population with an increasing or rising median age. This may be attributable to factors such as decline in fertility rates, aging of a baby boom generation, migration or increase in life expectancy.

It’s no longer news that the world’s population is aging quite rapidly. People aged 60 and older make up about 12% of the global population, and this number is projected to rise up to 22% by 2050. Many countries in the world today, experience an increase in the number of older people; notably Canada (where seniors are expected to comprise around 23% to 25% of the population by 2036) and Japan (where People over the age of 65 make up a quarter of the population, and is on track to reach 40%). This is not a bad thing, in fact, longevity is a sign that a country is developed and that structures or factors, supportive of a good long life, exist. However, aging is a significant change that has implications for almost every sector in our society, including labour and financial markets; demand for goods and services, such as housing, health care, transportation and social protection; and family structures, including procreation and intergenerational ties. Given the extent to which a population can be impacted by changes in its composition in general, it’s important to prepare for the economic and social shifts associated with an aging population.

The United Nation’s 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) was instituted during the Second World Assembly on Aging; Oh yeah! There’s a world assembly on aging, it’s that important! The meeting emphasized the need to ensure seniors are included in development planning, such that they are able to participate in, and benefit equitably from development. Additionally, societies should ensure that seniors are accommodated through the provision of enabling environments to encourage them to engage in activities that will improve the quality of their lives and advance their health and well-being. More so, as populations increasingly age, more people retire and acquire old age illnesses, hence, it becomes essential for governments to stabilize the economy by establishing effective policies and services with regards to housing, employment, infrastructure, social protection and health care, specifically for older people.

To ensure seniors live longer and healthier, the World Health Assembly adopted a comprehensive Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health 2016-2020 and a related resolution in May 2016. The strategy was initiated in order to inspire every country’s commitment to action on healthy ageing. Action on healthy aging demands the development of age-friendly environments and the alignment of health systems to the needs of older populations. Furthermore, It promises the development of sustainable and equitable systems of long-term care, emphasizes equity and human rights, including the important role of involving older adults in all decisions that concern them.

As individuals, we all need to care for, and treat older adults with love and respect, not only because we will be in their shoes someday, but because it the right and honorable thing to do.

May we live to become Elders… cheers!

Comments are closed.