Ageing and Life Course

Dutch “farm” offers community living for people with dementia

Reigershoeve, Dutch farm
Courtesy of Reigershoeve

May 2015 -- WHO has called on countries to invest in health and social systems to improve care and services for people with dementia and their caregivers in the report: “Dementia: a public health priority”. The Netherlands National Dementia Programme, created in consultation with caregivers, has set national treatment and housing standards for people with dementia. The following story highlights a Dutch care facility with a focus on community.

“Ageing well” must be a global priority

Woman exercising in a swimming pool, Eden Hill Communities, Texas.
© Suzanne Graham, provided by Grantmakers in Aging

6 November 2014 -- A major new Series on health and ageing, published in "The Lancet", warns that unless health systems find effective strategies to address the problems faced by an ageing world population, the growing burden of chronic disease will greatly affect the quality of life of older people. As people across the world live longer, soaring levels of chronic illness and diminished wellbeing are poised to become a major global public health challenge.

Towards an age-friendly world

1 October 2014 -- On the International Day of Older Persons, WHO is launching a new website, Age-friendly World. This long-awaited resource is targeted at cities and communities that have already introduced initiatives that make life easier and more enjoyable for older people, and for others who are thinking about taking the first steps, or interested in simply finding out more. The site provides guidance and tools for starting, implementing and evaluating age-friendly initiatives, as well as information on projects that are already up and running around the world.

Ghana country assessment on ageing and health

An elderly man is attended to by a health worker in a clinic, Ghana.
WHO/O. Asselin

This assessment report, prepared by WHO, outlines the health status of older people in Ghana, as well as what has already been done by the government to respond to the health needs of its ageing population. Representatives from the Ministry of Health of Ghana, the Ghana Health Service and other key stakeholders have discussed the findings of the report and agreed on priority areas for action for the care of older people in Ghana. This work is part of the WHO project “Knowledge Translation on Ageing and Health”, developed in partnership and with financial support from Age UK. The next country assessment and policy dialogue will be held in China.


fact buffet

2 billion2 billion people will be aged 60 and older by 2050. This represents both challenges and opportunities.

10 facts on ageing and the life course

4-6%Around 4-6% of older persons in high-income countries have experienced some form of maltreatment at home.

Fact sheet: elder maltreatment

25-30%of people aged 85 or older have some degree of cognitive decline.

Facts about ageing

About ageing

Ageing and life-course

Populations around the world are rapidly ageing. This is a cause for celebration. In part it reflects our successes in dealing with childhood disease, maternal mortality and in helping women achieve control over their own fertility.

Facts about ageing

The world population is rapidly ageing. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. The absolute number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period.

Fighting stereotypes

We all generally value and respect the older people we love or know well. But our attitudes to other older people within the broader community can be different. In many traditional societies, older people are respected as "elders". However, in other societies, older women and men may be less respected.

What WHO is doing

WHO's activities related to ageing in the areas of health services, rehabilitation and long-term care, prevention of disease, and other activities.

Media centre


WHO Regional Meeting on Health of Older Women
23–25 September 2014 -- Bangkok, Thailand

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