Healthy Settings

Types of Healthy Settings

Healthy Ageing

Old man
The World Bank/Nicholas Van Praag

Ageing is a privilege and a societal achievement, while also a challenge presenting imminent impact on all aspects of 21st century society. It is a challenge that cannot be addressed by the public or private sectors in isolation; it requires joint approaches and strategies. The main aims of Healthy Ageing initiatives include fostering policy advocacy (e.g. encouraging age-friendly policies), promoting healthy lifestyles, and reducing health risks and increasing quality of life.

WHO is running Healthy Ageing programmes that focus on different activities such as:

  • promoting active and healthy ageing, with special focus on physical activity and nutrition;
  • training of primary health care workers in old age care;
  • assessing the effects of HIV/AIDS on older people in Africa and their ability to be care providers;
  • an initiative on prevention of elder abuse world-wide;
  • implementing ageing friendly standards.
Old woman
The World Bank/Eric Miller

Most recently, WHO implemented the Global Age Friendly Cities project, which fulfils WHO's objective to influence the determinants of active ageing to optimize health, participation and security over the life course. The project's main product is the age friendly cities Guide, which contains a "checklist" of age-friendly city characteristics to guide efforts to make cities more accessible to older persons and more inclusive of their needs and contributions. These attributes are based on qualitative research conducted in 2006-2007 in 33 cities in 22 countries. The guide will be available in Fall 2007.

  • Global network of 35 cities collaborating with WHO in developing the Global Age Friendly Cities Guide