Today, for the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond.
A longer life represents an important opportunity, not only for older people and their families, but also for societies as a whole. Additional years provide the chance to pursue new activities such as further education or a long neglected passion, while continuing to make valuable contributions to family and community. Yet the extent of these opportunities depends heavily on one factor: health.
- Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%.
- The biggest killers of older people are heart disease, stroke and chronic lung disease.
- The greatest causes of disability are sensory impairments, back and neck pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depressive disorders, falls, diabetes, dementia and osteoarthritis.
- Ageism – discrimination against a person on the basis of their age – has serious consequences for older people and societies at large. Older people are often assumed to be frail or dependent, and a burden to society.
In the following years, as future doctors, we will be faced with aging and changing of perspective upon aged people.
What do you think should we, as European Medical Students, begin to do in order to facilitate a #HealthyAging?
Source: World Health Organization