The number of older persons is growing faster than any other age group, says a new report, Ageing in the Twenty-first Century: A Celebration and a Challenge, released by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and HelpAge International.
In just ten years, the number of older persons will surpass one billion people—an increase of close to 200 million people over the decade.
The report underlines that, while the trend of ageing societies is a cause for celebration, it also presents huge challenges as it requires completely new approaches to health care, retirement, living arrangements and intergenerational relations. The report calls for urgent action by governments to address the needs of this ‘greying generation’
Richard Blewitt, Chief Executive Officer of HelpAge International, said:
“We must commit to ending the widespread mismanagement of ageing. Concrete, cost effective advances will come from ensuring age investment begins at birth – fully recognising the vast majority of people will live into old age.
“Global and national action plans are needed to create a pathway to transform the explosive number of people over 60 to become growth drivers and value creators. By revolutionising our approach and investing in people as they age we can build stronger, wealthier societies. Social protection and age friendly health care are essential to extend the independence of healthy older people and prevent impoverishment in old age.”