SINGAPORE – The world’s population is ageing.
This can become either a burden on society or a benefit for all if older people remain healthy and continue to contribute to the economy and society for longer years.
Recognizing the need to promote healthy longevity, the US National Academy of Medicine has established an international commission of experts to lead the way.
They released a global roadmap for healthy longevity in June, which summarized key considerations now that people are living longer and the steps needed to ensure longer, more meaningful lives:
1. Economic benefits generated by people who live, work, volunteer and engage longer
2. Social infrastructure, institutions and business systems that enable safe and meaningful work and other community engagement at every stage of life
3. Education and training opportunities that promote participation in lifelong learning and growth
4. Social cohesion strengthened through intergenerational bonds and the creation of opportunities for the deliberate engagement of older people at the family, community and societal levels
5. Social protection and financial security that mitigate the effects of financial vulnerability in old age
6. Physical environments and infrastructure that support older people’s functioning and engagement
7. Integrated public health, social service, person-centred health care and long-term care systems designed to prolong years of good health and meet the diverse health needs of older people
8. Quality long-term care systems to ensure that people receive the care they need in the setting they want for a life full of meaning and dignity