Giving seniors the ability to receive long-term care services while aging in place has been named as a top-ten priority by the United Nations in a recent report, Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge.
The global aging population—and its resultant impact on society—is named as one of this century’s most significant trends. Approximately 58 million people are turning 60 each year, roughly equivalent to two people celebrating their sixtieth birthday each second. In less than a decade, the current 60+ population of 810 million will reach 1 billion, according to U.N. data.
“The social and economic implications of this phenomenon are profound, extending far beyond the individual older person and the immediate family, touching broader society and the global community in unprecedented ways,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the report’s preface.
Going forward, society must address the challenges presented by a rapidly aging population while maximizing available opportunities.
One recommendation is to help seniors who wish to remain in their homes:
“Support communities and families to develop support systems which ensure that frail older persons receive the long-term care they need and promote active and healthy ageing at the local level to facilitate ageing in place,” the report says.
Other top-ten priority actions include supporting international and national efforts to develop comparative research on aging; ensuring the inclusion of aging and the needs of older persons in all national development policies and programs; and ensuring that aging issues are “adequately reflected” in the post-2015 development agenda.
Written by Alyssa Gerace