Maria Justiniano og Gunnar Olesen refererer her til indholdet af 2 vigtige rapporter fra 2015 om temaerne aldring, helbred og omsorg
Det drejer sig om WHO’s rapport “Aldring og Helbred”, som udkom den 1. oktober på Den internationale ældredag samt om ILO’s rapport “Long-term care protection for older persons: A review of coverage deficits in 46 countries” der også er udkommet i 2015. Her følger på engelsk Maria og Gunnars introduktion til rapporternes indhold. Herunder links til rapporterne i deres fulde længde.
>>>World report on Ageing and Health
>>> ILO review: Long-term care protection for older persons
The WHO Report on Agening and Health
The WHO report states that the number of people over 60 years is set to double by 2050 due to advances in medicine helping more people to live longer lives. This development will require radical societal change. The Report rejects the stereotype of older people as frail and dependent and says the many contributions that older people make are often overlooked, while the demands that population ageing will place on society are frequently overemphasised or exaggerated. While some older people will require care and support, older populations in general are very diverse and make multiple contributions to families, communities and society more broadly.
The report cites research that suggests these contributions far outweigh any investments that might be needed to provide the health services, long- term care and social security that older populations require. And it says policy needs to shift from an emphasis on controlling costs, to a greater focus on enabling older people to do the things that matter to them. This will be particularly important for women, who comprise the majority of older people and who provide much of the family care for those who can no longer care for themselves.
But one factor will play a key role in whether the opportunity for ageing societies to reinvent themselves can be realised – and that is the health of these older people.
3 key areas for action which will require a fundamental shift in the way society thinks about ageing and older people are highlighted by the report:
- Make the places we live in much more friendly to older people. Good examples can be found in WHO’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities that currently comprises over 280 members in 33 countries. These range from a project improving the security of older people in the slums of New Delhi to “Men’s Sheds” in Australia and Ireland that tackle social isolation and loneliness.
- Realign health systems to the needs of older people will also be crucial. This will require a shift from systems that are designed around curing acute disease, to systems that can provide ongoing care for the chronic conditions that are more prevalent in older age.
- Develop long-term care systems that can reduce inappropriate use of acute health services and ensure people live their last years with dignity. Families will need support to provide care, freeing up women, who are often the main caregivers for older family members, to play broader roles in society. Even simple strategies like internet-based support for family caregivers in the Netherlands or support to older peoples’ associations that provide peer support in Viet Nam hold great promise.
ILO reports that lack of long-term care coverage diminishes older people’s rights
The current poor health and social protection coverage worldwide mentioned in the WHO report has also been emphasized in a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which examines long-term care (LTC) protection in 48 countries. The report highlights that serious lack in protection, not only at global level but also in many European countries, diminishes older persons’ human rights and widens age and gender-based discrimination. ILO further highlights that addressing the LTC shortage and providing universal LTC coverage worldwide would result in the creation of millions of jobs.