Support healthy ageing

Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age, and especially as we get older. Promoting healthy ageing is about maximising everyone’s ability to continue to do the things that matter to us as we get older.

Many of us fear that ageing means an inevitable decline in our quality of life. But it does not have to be that way.

People around the world are living longer. By 2050 nearly one in five people in developing countries will be over the age of 60. Longer life expectancy is a cause for celebration, but this new reality also brings new challenges.

Healthy ageing is influenced by our physical and mental abilities. Such as our ability to walk, think, see, hear and remember. As we age, these can be affected by disease, injury or general age-related changes.

Our environment and the society in which we live also affects healthy ageing: The facilities and structures built around us, the people and relationships in our lives, the attitudes and values we and others around us hold, the opportunities available to us, and the systems and services that are there to support us.

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Healthy ageing for us all

While people around the world are living longer, many of us do not enjoy healthy ageing. In low- and middle-income countries – where the majority of the world’s older people live – a lack of education, food, income, and health and care services severely affect our ability to enjoy health and wellbeing throughout our lives.

Inequalities in healthy ageing

Differences in people’s environments, and the support they have available to them, is largely why there are inequalities between and within countries when it comes to healthy ageing.
  • 41

    years is the healthy life expectancy in Lesotho

  • 78

    years is the healthy life expectancy in Japan

  • 76 %

    of all deaths are from non-communicable diseases in LMICs

Older women in Kyrgyzstan celebrate World Diabetes Day

We should all be able to enjoy healthy ageing.

Our right to health, to live independently and to participate in society should be protected and promoted. We all want to be able to stay physically and socially active, to feel connected to our communities and to thrive, whatever our age or circumstances.

What is HelpAge International doing?

We work with network members and partners to promote healthy ageing. We reach the furthest behind first, so that everyone, everywhere is able to get the health and care services they need, regardless of age.

The Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030)

For this reason, we are supporting the UN and the World Health Organization on the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021 – 2030) which marks a significant step forward for elevating the voices of older people on the global stage.

We support the transformations of systems and societies so that they successfully promote healthy ageing across the life course. We focus on achieving age-inclusive, universal and equitable health and care services, at the same time as taking action to address wider determinants of health.

To achieve this, we:

  • conduct broad based advocacy at all levels to ensure systems and services promote healthy ageing across the life course, including through action as part of the Decade of Healthy Ageing and ensuring Universal Health Coverage is fit for an ageing world.
  • influence and provide expertise to support the development of person-centred, long-term care and support systems.
  • work with partners at all levels to ensure older people’s right to health is protected and promoted. This includes our response to COVID-19, and our work to ensure older people, as one of the groups most at risk, are the first to be reached with COVID-19 vaccines.