Ageing and Life Course

WHO invites comment on draft zero of a Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health

An older man in the sea looking to camera.
Frédéric Dupoux/HelpAge International 2010

Populations around the world are rapidly ageing, with some of the fastest change occurring in low and middle income countries. Promoting healthy and active ageing, and building systems to meet the needs of older adults, will be central to fostering healthy ageing in every country. As requested by World Health Resolution 67/13, a comprehensive Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health is currently under development. Draft zero is available now for wide consultation. It focuses on what needs to be done globally, and is intended to provide a global vision beyond what WHO alone can do.

Age-friendly cities and communities in practice

Older persons dance in a park in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China
EPA/How Hwee Young

September 2015 -- Cities and communities world-wide strive to become more age-friendly. They seek to better adapt to the needs of their ageing populations. But what are they actually doing? Browse the new database to find out. Small measures can make a big difference. They are shared here by communities, for communities.

“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.


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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