Age-friendly Community and the Decade of Healthy Ageing
The WHO released the action plan for a Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030, which targets for a 10-year sustained and transformative multisectoral collaboration among governments, organizations and agencies, professionals and scholars, and private sectors, with older people at the core of the plan. The Decade emphasizes a life-long approach to healthy ageing to achieve both longer and healthies lives, using a human rights approach observing universality and equity. It also aligns well with the all sustainable development goals proposed by the United Nations, addressing growing concerns over the sustainability of the age-friendly movements. The Decade calls for four areas of action, including ageism, age-friendly community, integrated primary care and long-term care.
Among these areas, the age-friend community directly addresses the importance of creating an age-friendly environment to foster active and healthy ageing. The area recognizes that building age-friendly environments, both urban and rural, is crucial to the intrinsic capacity of older people, as well as maintaining their autonomy, dignity and well-being. Specific actions, including supporting the inclusion of the voices of older people, promoting territory-wide programmes in age-friendly communities, taking evidence-based actions to facilitate intrinsic capacity, and evaluating the outcomes of these actions, are listed under this area of action. Another action area highly relevant to an age-friendly community is ageism, which is the perceived stereotypes and discrimination directed towards others or oneself based on age. Indeed, both ageing and age-friendly community are considered under the same monitoring and evaluation framework of the Decade, implying their close linkage in fostering older people’s well-being. The IOA has been involved in working in all these areas since inception. And the details of our works have been found in our latest book publication “Strategies for creating an age-friendly city: Hong Kong as a case study”.