This World Health Organization (WHO) global brief examines the health data on ageing and recent research into understanding the needs of older people and identifying ways of meeting those needs.
“Dementia is the greatest cause of years lost due to disability in high-income countries and the second greatest worldwide. More recent data suggests that, in 2010, there were 35.6 million people living with dementia globally, with 7.7 million new cases each year.1 Numbers of people with dementia will nearly double every 20 years, with much of the increase occurring in rapidly developing middle-income countries. Currently, 58% of people with dementia live in low- and middle-income countries, and this proportion is projected to rise to 71% by 2050.” (p.16).
WHO propose a “life-course approach” to healthy and active ageing, which involves:
- Promoting good health and healthy behaviours at all ages, to avoid or delay the development of chronic disease.
- Minimizing the consequences of chronic disease through early detection and quality care (primary, long-term and palliative care).
- Creating physical and social environments which support the health and participation of older people.
- Reinventing ageing: changing social attitudes to encourage the participation of older people.
Sections in this report cover the demographics of ageing, the epidemiology of population ageing, actions which may be taken on ageing and health, and recommended references.
Good health adds life to years: global brief for World Health Day 2012. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO), April 2012. Document number: WHO /DCO/WHD /2012.2.