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Active aging and wellness

Nine Principles of Active Aging

Policies: The human rights of older adults should be protected.


In late 2001 and 2002 the United Nations, the World Health Organization and ICAA defined the concept of active aging.25,26 Since then, there has been a solid stream of research, conferences, and initiatives that have driven policy change around the world pertaining to active aging. A recent example is the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, where a key resolution was passed. This resolution highlighted “strengthening” noncommunicable disease policies to promote active aging in the effort to ensure optimal health and well-being for older adults worldwide.27

In Europe, the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) launched the Active Ageing Index. This new statistical tool is designed to assist European Union member governments with assessing how their active-aging policies are working compared to other nations. By establishing this benchmark, countries can address where they fall short in meeting the needs of their older citizens. This Index is an example of how active aging is impacting all levels of government.28

In Sao Paolo, Brazil, active aging is at the center of an age-friendly state initiative.29 Many other cities and regions around the world have embraced this kind of effort, joining the World Health Organization’s Age-friendly Cities initiative.20 In fact, countries are vying for the privilege of being the first age-friendly country in the world.

Bringing this principle back to you, what policies do you have in your organization to ensure inclusivity and respect for the rights of older adults? This includes policies for staff.

A thought to ponder: What policies can you influence within your organization, city, state or country to make a difference?

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