Ageing and life-course

Towards better measurement of Healthy Ageing

23 March 2017 - Research and measurement form an important basis for understanding Healthy Ageing and tracking progress towards these goals.
As a key step to developing better tools to measure Healthy Ageing, the World Health Organization is bringing together the best available evidence via the Working Group on Metrics and Research Standards on Healthy Ageing. The Working Group will summarize evidence, develop indicators to measure key concepts, and form a plan to test and refine these indicators.

International Day of Older Persons 2016

woman from zimbabwe smiling
Kate Holt / HelpAge International

Take a Stand Against Ageism

1 October 2016 - The theme for 2016’s International Day of Older Persons was “Take a Stand Against Ageism.” Research has shown that thinking more positively about ageing can increase life expectancy by 7.5 years. In recognising the serious and insidious impact of ageist attitudes and practices on the lives of older persons, WHO supported a global campaign against ageism in coordination with partners around the world.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The crossed arms of an elder woman.
Jeff Williams/HelpAge International 2011

15 June 2016 - One in ten older adults worldwide were abused in the last month. This means that physical, psychological, or sexual abuse was inflicted upon older people, at home or in care, or that older adults were neglected or abandoned. Victims can suffer anxiety, loneliness, loss of dignity, trust and hope. Elder abuse is preventable. The recently adopted Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health calls for urgent action to prevent and respond to elder abuse. Get involved. Everyone has a role to play to help ensure that older people live in safety.

A global course for Healthy Ageing

A woman holds a young girl in her arms.
© Frederic Dupoux / HelpAge International 2011

1 April 2016 - A Supplement on Healthy Ageing, published in The Gerontologist expands upon the major themes of the recent WHO World report on ageing and health. The Report and the supplement demonstrate that if populations are to live not only longer but healthier lives, then decision makers, practitioners, and researchers will have to do more to address such topics as elder abuse, the determinants of healthy aging, and medical and assistive health technology. WHO’s Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health, which Ministers of health from around the world will discuss at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May, sets out a vision and clear framework for global action.

#YearsAhead and valued – participate in our Instagram campaign

Heinz prepares vegetable plants in a greenhouse, Germany.
Photo submitted by M. Schneiders.

24 November 2015 - Photos can help break down the stereotypes that we often associate with ageing. As the first entries in our Instagram campaign to challenge ageism show, people in older age from around the world continue to play valuable roles in their families and communities.

If you are an older person: post a photo of yourself celebrating that you are #YearsAhead. If you are a younger person: post a photo of, or a selfie with, someone you value who is #YearsAhead. Photos can be submitted on Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #YearsAhead, or sent to, with the subject line: YearsAhead.

Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health

To ensure adults live not only longer but healthier lives a comprehensive Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health 2016-2020 and a related resolution were adopted in May 2016 by the World Health Assembly. The aim of the strategy is for every country to commit to action on healthy ageing. It calls for the development of age-friendly environments and the alignment of health systems to the needs of older populations. It envisages the development of sustainable and equitable systems of long-term care, and improved measurement, monitoring and research. It emphasizes equity and human rights, including the important role of involving older adults in all decisions that concern them.

World report on ageing and health 2015

October 2015 -- Comprehensive public health action on population ageing is urgently needed. This will require fundamental shifts, not just in the things we do, but in how we think about ageing itself. The World report on ageing and health outlines a framework for action to foster Healthy Ageing built around the new concept of functional ability. This will require a transformation of health systems away from disease based curative models and towards the provision of older-person-centred and integrated care.

Age-friendly cities and communities in practice

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.

About 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.

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