Ageing in the 21st Century: Ten priority actions to maximise the opportunity of ageing populations

Older people on an Age Demands Action march in Haiti. (c) Frederic Dupoux/HelpAge International.

1. Recognise the inevitability of population ageing and the need to adequately prepare all stakeholders (Governments, civil society, private sector, communities, and families) for the growing numbers of older persons by enhancing understanding and developing and strengthening national and local capacities to adapt societies to an ageing world.

2. Implement social protection floors to guarantee income security and access to essential health and social services for all older persons in order to postpone disability and prevent impoverishment in old age.

3. Support communities and families to develop support systems which ensure that frail older persons receive the long term care they need.

4. Invest in young people today by promoting healthy habits, and ensuring education and employment opportunities, access to health services, and social security coverage for all workers as the best investment to improve the lives of future generations of older persons.

5. Support international and national gender and culture-sensitive research on ageing and ensure that data and evidence from this research are available to inform policymaking.

6. Mainstream ageing into all gender policies and gender into ageing policies, taking into account the specific requirements of older women and men.

7. Ensure inclusion of older persons in all national development policies and programmes.

8. Ensure inclusion of older persons in national humanitarian response, climate change mitigation and adaptation plans, and disaster management and preparedness programmes.

9. Ensure that the needs of older persons are adequately reflected in the post-2015 development agenda, including through the development of specific goals and indicators.

10. Work towards the development of international human rights instruments and their translation into national laws and regulations that challenge age discrimination and specifically address older persons' rights.


The above ten priority actions are taken from Chapter 5 of the Ageing in the 21st Century Report.

Download Chapter 5: The way forward (502kb).

Download the full report, Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and A Challenge (2.84kb).


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  • David (07 October 2013)

    What about encouraging young people to have more children. We need more people producing more goods and services to support the increased number of older people.

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