Healthy ageing and long-term care for older people: a global perspective

presenter(s) Professor Anne Margriet Pot | World Health Organisation

Anne Margriet Pot has worked on improving the mental health of older people through her research, (post) graduate education and clinical practice in The Netherlands over the past 30 years. In 2014, she joined the World Health Organization and works with both the Department of Ageing and Life course and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Her areas of speciality are dementia, aging and long term care. She contributed to the development of the World report and the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health and is involved in the development and evaluation of iSupport, a global online tool to support caregivers of people living with dementia.

Anne Margriet has been Professor of Geropsychology at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (from 2007) and Honorary Professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia (from 2013). She has been the Head of the Program on Ageing of the Netherlands Institute on Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos-institute) in Utrecht from 2004 until October 2014. She served for 10 years on the (Executive) Board of the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA)and has been a regular guest speaker at international conferences.

Anne Margriet Pot has published over 200 scientific and professional publications in her areas of speciality, and is the main editor of the Dutch manual on Geropsychology. In recent years, her research focused on the development of evidence-based interventions for older people and their caregivers and the evaluation of the quality of care. She was founder and principal investigator of two national studies, a trend study on Living Arrangements for people with Dementia (LAD-study), and one on outpatient psychiatric care for older adults (MEMO).


In the past year there has been increased political momentum for comprehensive action on population ageing and long-term care.  In October 2015, the World Health Organization released the first ever World report on ageing and health. The World report compiles the best available scientific evidence and outlines a framework for action to foster Healthy Ageing built around the new concept of functional ability. It also provided the basis for a Global Strategy and Action Plan (GSAP) on ageing and health which was adopted in May 2016 by the World Health Assembly - comprising the Health Ministers or their delegates from the WHO’s 194 Member States. One of the strategic objectives included in the GSAP, is the development of sustainable and equitable systems for providing long-term care, at home, and in communities and institutions. In the 21st century, no country can afford not to have a comprehensive system of Long-Term Care (LTC) as is stated in the GSAP. The goal of LTC-systems should be to maintain a level of functional ability in older people who have or are at high risk of significant losses of capacity, and ensure that this care is consistent with their basic rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity. The challenges to build comprehensive LTC-systems in different resourced settings around the world, also in low and middle income countries, will be discussed in further detail.

date 5 September 2016

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