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

2016 Conference Presentation

(Inter)national systems International

5 September 2016

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

Professor Anne Margriet Pot, World Health Organisation


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.