AARP International

CASE STUDIES

Searchable by region, this database showcases healthy aging programs and initiatives categorized in the following UN Action Areas:

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS

    Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM

    Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE

    Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE

    Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

No results found.
AFRICA

Universal Old Age Pension

Purpose: In 2004, Lesotho introduced a non-contributory Universal Old Age Pension to address intergenerational poverty and ensure their oldest people have access to income. The pension’s budget and monthly allowance have grown steadily since it was first introduced. Between 2015 and 2019, the allowance rose from 500 to 700 maloti, and the share of the social budget allocated to the pension scheme also increased by 19 percentage points, indicating the government’s continued commitment to the oldest citizens of Lesotho. As of 2019, the pension distributes 700 maloti or about $47 USD per month to older persons aged 70 and above who are not receiving another pension.

Outcome: Surveys of pension recipients have found that pensioners lead more financially secure, fulfilling lives. A 2015 survey of 215 pension recipients living in rural areas found that hunger and poverty were halved and that pensioners played an increased role in their communities and families, caring for dependent and orphaned children. Pensioners also contributed to household income, which allowed them to become active participants in household decision-making. However, recipients, particularly in urban areas, have reported that the pension is insufficient to meet all their basic needs. Despite these issues, the Old Age Pension provides evidence that even countries with limited financial resources can implement a non-contributory pension program.

Program Expansion: No

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Lesotho

Timeframe: 2004–present

Funding Body: Government of Lesotho

AFRICA

AgeWell

Purpose: To combat feelings of isolation, a peer-to-peer support program, called AgeWell, was piloted in 2014 among 212 older adults—all of whom were socially isolated and/or experiencing health issues—in vulnerable communities near Cape Town, South Africa. Twenty-eight AgeWell participants, called 'AgeWells' and who were mobile and active older adults, were matched with the participants. AgeWells were trained and paid to serve as companions to the participants, as well as to collaborate with their peers in establishing a 'Wellness Plan' for them. AgeWells were also trained to spot early signs of health issues among their peers, as well as to use mobile technology to report any issues with participants to social workers or primary care providers.

Outcome: The AgeWell pilot program was shown to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation, and improve mood and well-being among the participant older adults. Training AgeWells to spot early signs of health issues led to overall cost savings and better health outcomes for the participants. However, the AgeWells also benefitted from the program. One AgeWell said, “I am 70 years of age. I didn’t know that I would be able to do something like this, go about and try to soothe people, comfort people, make friendship[s] and improve wellbeing and everything. It gave me a fresh life again.”

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: South Africa

Timeframe: 2014

Funding Body: AgeWell (local NGO)

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Contact Programme with Local Police

Purpose: Sangam Vihar is a large, unauthorized community—with no access to government services—in South Delhi, India. A program was piloted in 2012 in six wards, reaching about 1,800 older adults, that aimed to increase comfortable contact between older adults and police officers in the community, as many older adults had reported feeling unsafe. The police officers personally met older adults, gave them contact information on cards, and created a register of older persons living alone or in need of further support, particularly older men who are experiencing addiction to alcohol. The police officers then began periodically visiting older adults in need of support at their homes.

Outcome: A follow-up survey, conducted four months after the program's implementation, found that more than half of older adults in the program area still had the contact cards given to them by the local police.

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: India

Timeframe: 2012

Funding Body: Local police stations

AFRICA

Dementia Friends

Purpose: Chief Kikelomo Laniyonu Edwards founded the Dementia Friends program in 2015 and 2016 to change the way Nigerians think about dementia. She was inspired by the United Kingdom’s Dementia Friends program and used its resources to set up her program in Nigeria. Starting with 21 Dementia Friends 'Champions' in 19 of Nigeria's 36 states, Laniyonu Edwards and the Dementia Friends program staff reached out to village chiefs and respected elders across the country. Each Champion was tasked with delivering informational sessions in their community, as well as expanding the program by recruiting 100 'Dementia Friends' each.

Outcome: The original 21 Champions have (by 2017) recruited 80,000 new Dementia Friends, which has expanded the program across Nigeria. His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Olasupo Adetunji, The Olubadan of Ibadanland, became the Grand Patron of Dementia Friends Nigeria in 2016 and has hosted awareness-raising events in honor of the program.

Program Expansion: Yes, the global Dementia Friends organization has implemented similar programs in 15 countries.

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Nigeria

Timeframe: 2015/2016–present

Funding Body: Dementia Nigeria (local NGO); with guidance and support from the Alzheimer’s Society (global NGO)

AMERICAS

Porteiro Amigo de Idoso

Purpose: Alexandre Kalache, Preisdent of the International Longevity Centre, Brazil, piloted the Porteiro Amigo de Idoso (Doorman Friend for the Elderly) initiative in Copacabana, a wealthy neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, following a series of focus groups with older adults in which they noted that their closest social contact was often the doorman to their apartment building. With the aim of supporting the independence, autonomy, safety, and mobility of older adults living alone in urban centers, Porteiro Amigo de Idoso offers free training to doormen in age-friendly practices, including welfare checks, fall prevention, accessibility, and first aid.

Outcome: Since 2010, the program has trained over 6,000 doormen around Brazil. Older residents living in buildings with trained doormen report feeling safer and having an increased respect for the profession.

Program Expansion: Yes, training is now available in all major Brazilian cities.

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: Brazil

Timeframe: 2010–present

Funding Body: Bradesco Seguros (Brazilian insurance company)

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Integrated Housing Solution

Purpose: Despite having a low level of homelessness, as well as a relatively small population of older adults at only 2.5 percent over the age of 60, the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates implemented an innovative program in 2012 to ensure access to affordable, adequate housing for older persons. The program is arranged around three main services for older adults: 1) building a housing unit adjacent to an older person’s family, 2) building an entirely new house for an older adult and their extended family, tailored to the older adult’s needs, and 3) maintaining and modifying existing properties to support the needs of older persons, such as adding an elevator.

Outcome: While the housing units were completed, the Directorate of Housing provided temporary housing for older adults living in challenging conditions.

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: United Arab Emirates

Timeframe: 2012–present

Funding Body: Emirate of Sharjah

WESTERN PACIFIC

Housing Schemes for the Elderly

Purpose: Launched in 1998, Singapore's public housing apartments for older persons (those 55 years old and older) respond to the needs of an aging population. The apartments come built with safety features for older persons and can be customized for living with family or independently. Beginning with studio apartments for seniors in 1995, the Housing and Development Board then expanded its offerings for seniors in 2015 and began to offer a '2-Room Flexi Scheme' that promotes flexibility in lease length. Seniors can choose what length of lease they need as long as the lease covers the older person or couple up to age 95. Additionally, Singapore's fourth 'Remaking Our Heartland' program is aimed at rejuvenating aging housing stock—much of which was built in the 1940s and 1950s—and ensuring that the country's entire public housing stock is world-class quality and accessible to all, within a 20- to 30-year period.

Outcome: Singapore's Housing and Development Board manages about 10,000 apartment blocks and 1 million individual apartments, in which about 80 percent of the country's population lives. Over 90 percent of those who live in public housing own their own apartments. The Housing and Development Board focuses on ensuring that public housing is up-to-date and serves the needs of all people, including older adults, as well as provides community-building social amenities, environmentally-sustainable housing options, and affordable housing options for all citizens. There are also priority schemes for those who plan to live in multi-generational households or for older adults who wish to move closer to their adult children. Another scheme promotes aging-in-community by allowing older persons to buy an apartment that is adapted for senior living, as long as it is within 4 kilometers of their existing apartment. In 2020, Singapore also introduced its first assisted living facilities for older people, which would include health checks, 24 hour emergency care as needed, and simple home fixes, as well as optional services like meal delivery and caregiving.

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Singapore

Timeframe: 1998–present

Funding Body: Housing and Development Board, Government of Singapore

AMERICAS

Calico Labs

Purpose: Alphabet's Calico Labs is a biotech company dedicated solely to the science of aging, in the hope of expanding societal understanding of aging and potential interventions to increase lifespan, conducting research in-house, and awarding grants with few restrictions on research focus. Current areas of research include automation, genome and genetic mapping, and the development of non-invasive imaging technologies for preventive care. Calico has also partnered with a major pharmaceutical company to create drugs targeting diseases associated with old age. The enterprise is one of several experimental research centers funded and coordinated by Google and its parent company, Alphabet.

Outcome: As one of Alphabet's more experimental enterprises, information on impact and outcomes is limited.

Program Expansion: No

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: United States

Timeframe: 2013–present

Funding Body: Alphabet Inc.; Google

EUROPE

Healthy Ageing Challenge

Purpose: The UK Research and Innovation’s 'Healthy Ageing Challenge' is a public-private partnership that aims to support healthy aging in the UK. The Healthy Ageing Challenge will provide up to £40 million in funding for large-scale 'trailblazer projects' on healthy aging; £2 million for social, behavioral, and design research; and £4 million for social enterprises, in partnership with the UK’s Small Business Research Initiative.

Outcome: Supporting the Healthy Ageing Challenge are five private sector ‘investment partners’ that will collectively provide up to £39 million in grant funding over a three-year period for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovations for healthy aging. The investment partners are:

  • Nesta, a UK-based impact investor that provides investment for social interest organizations across several sectors—health, education, food, climate, and the future of work and productivity. Nesta will commit up to £6 million to the Challenge.
  • Northstar Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on entrepreneurs with innovative ideas across a range of sectors in the North East of England, will commit up to £3 million specifically for SMEs undertaking research and development projects.
  • 24Haymarket, a venture capital firm that connects high-net-worth individual or family investors to its network of promising small-scale entrepreneurs, will contribute to grant funding for new and growing SMEs.
  • Barclay Ventures, a business incubation lab started by Barclays Bank, will match funding for grants focused on health technology.
  • Legal & General, the UK’s largest life insurance company, will contribute £6 million to SMEs focused on reducing the cost and occurrence of aging-related illnesses.

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: United Kingdom

Timeframe: 2021–present

Funding Body: UK Research and Innovation (non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom)

WESTERN PACIFIC

Japan Post

Purpose: Japan Post, the country’s national postal service, began to provide its 'Elderly Watch Service' in 2013 in its pilot area of six prefectures. By early 2015, the program enabled postal service workers to check in on elderly people for a monthly charge of Y1,000 ($8.40). Elderly persons and their families can subscribe to receive one 60-minute home visit or daily phone check-ins for a monthly fee.

Outcome: Yes, throughout the entire country.

Program Expansion: Yes, the program was expanded nationwide in the second half of 2015.

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Connecting Stakeholders, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Japan

Timeframe: 2013, expanded in 2015

Funding Body: Japan Post (corporation owned by the Government of Japan); IBM; Google

EUROPE

Radars

Purpose: The Radars project was first piloted in Barcelona, in the Camp de Grassot neighborhood, with the aim of supporting older adults to live independently for as long as possible, and to combat social isolation. Radars is a model for aging-in-community, as it engages the local community in caring for the older people in their midst. Two-fifths of Spaniards over the age of 85 live alone, and shops, pharmacies, and cafes are often their main sites of social interaction. In response, the Radars project mobilizes shopkeepers, cafe owners, and any other interested citizens to form relationships with older adults and watch out for their needs. If a volunteer, called a 'Radar', is concerned about someone's health, or potential elder abuse, they can call the social services hotline, and a professional will be dispatched to the relevant residence to perform a check-in. Radars volunteers also organize social activities to combat social isolation.

Outcome: The initiative has been expanded across the entire city and now operates in 55 Barcelona neighborhoods.

Program Expansion: Yes, in 2012, across Barcelona.

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Connecting Stakeholders, Voice and Engagement

Location: Spain

Timeframe: 2008–present

Funding Body: Social Services Department, City of Barcelona

GLOBAL

Data2X

Purpose: Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the creation of the Data2X initiative in 2012, and the Initiative was established in 2014. The UN’s Data2X initiative, while not focused on aging and older populations, acts as a repository for gender-disaggregated data sources from around the world, and regularly calls on public- and private-sector institutions to improve their collection of gender-disaggregated data.

Outcome: Data2X has established partnerships with the private sector, academics, government agencies, and multilateral agencies to encourage harmonization in and disaggregation of data collection. Data2X also taps into 'big data' and attempts to make sure that large-scale data ecosystems have a gender component, in order to better understand the needs of women and girls across their lives.

Program Expansion: Data2X facilitates partnerships with data-producing institutions.

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Global

Timeframe: 2014–present

Funding Body: United Nations Foundation (institutional home); William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (funders); Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (funders)

WESTERN PACIFIC

Design Code for Buildings of Elderly Facilities

Purpose: China’s Design Code for Buildings of Elderly Facilities was established by the Ministry of Construction (now named the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 1999.

Outcome: The code applies to roads, buildings, and other public places in China to ensure they are accessible for older people, aiding the goal of aging-in-community. The code applies for any building that older people access regularly across the country and runs across 30 criteria under 5 categories.

Program Expansion: Similar codes have been established in other countries, including Malaysia, Mexico, and Australia.

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: China

Timeframe: 1999–present

Funding Body: Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Government of China; Ministry of Civil Affairs, Government of China

AMERICAS

California Master Plan for Aging

Purpose: The California Master Plan for Aging is a government-led, multi-stakeholder approach to promoting healthy aging for the entire community. The Plan lays out goals for public- and private-sector health institutions to attain through program implementation, focusing particularly on improving services for older adults from vulnerable groups, such as people of color and unhoused individuals. It was designed following extensive civil society engagement with older adults: The SCAN Foundation conducted polling work among older adults in California and found that, regardless of party affiliation, voters wanted the state government to design a plan to address population aging. While it has many components, the Plan is structured around five goals:

  1. Housing for All Stages & Ages: safe, appropriate, and affordable housing for all Californians;
  2. Health Reimagined: closing the health equity gap and increasing life expectancy;
  3. Inclusion & Equity, Not Isolation: protecting older adults and their carers from abuse, neglect, and discrimination;
  4. Caregiving that Works: improving the quality of jobs for caregivers; and
  5. Affording Aging: ensuring economic security for older adults.

Outcome: While the Master Plan is in the early stages of implementation, the state government has implemented an Indicator Progress Dashboard, where stakeholders in healthy aging will be able to track the progress made toward each goal and component sub-strategy.

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTSAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Physical, social, and economic environments are important determinants of healthy ageing and powerful influences on the experience of ageing and the opportunities that ageing offers. Age-friendly environments are better places in which to grow, live, work, play, and age. They are created by removing physical and social barriers and implementing policies, systems, services, products and technologies that address the social determinants of healthy ageing and enable people, even when they lose capacity, to continue to do the things they value.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: United States

Timeframe: 2021–present

Funding Body: State Government of California; SCAN Foundation

AMERICAS

Experience Corps

Purpose: The Experience Corps program was established in Baltimore in 1995, which connected older adult volunteers with elementary school-aged students in struggling and/or under-resourced public schools. The program serves as a space for inter-generational interaction through volunteer tutoring, particularly around reading and literacy skills. Volunteers provide between 6 and 15 hours of support in classrooms per week.

Outcome: The current iteration of the Experience Corps program serves over 9,600 students every year in elementary schools and has more than 2,300 highly-trained volunteers working in 23 cities. Now expanded to 23 U.S. cities and facilitated by AARP, independent evaluations of the program found that older adult volunteers helped over half of Experience Corps students to make favorable changes in their inter-personal relationships, self-control, and reading proficiency over time. Experience Corps is an important program because it works to connect three stakeholder groups—older people, who can find meaning in working with children; children in high-need elementary schools, who can better understand older generations by working closely with them; and both of those groups with the wider community, which benefits by fostering inter-generational connections.

Program Expansion: Yes, in 23 cities across the United States, through AARP.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: United States

Timeframe: 1995–present

Funding Body: Johns Hopkins University (funder); Public/Private Ventures (funder, local NGO); and Corporation for National and Community Service (officially Americorps, funders); AARP Foundation (implementer)

EUROPE

Age-Positive Image Library

Purpose: In 2021, the Centre for Better Ageing launched a free library of stock images of older people intended to challenge negative and stereotypical views of aging. The images are 'positive and realistic', providing a diverse representation of aging and later life across a number of themes including health, community activity, and employment. The Centre created the library following their research on ageism, which found that stock image libraries often publicize unrealistically positive or negative depictions of older adults—they also intend to create a series of 'age-positive icons' designed in consultation with older adults, and intended to replace icons and symbols used on street signs and websites.

Outcome: While the project is still relatively new, in March 2021 the Centre partnered with Pexels, one of the largest free stock image libraries in the world, to expand its range of age-positive stock imagery, growing the library from 400 to over 700 photos.

Program Expansion: Yes, in March 2021, the library was expanded from 400 to over 700 photos.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement

Location: United Kingdom

Timeframe: 2021–present

Funding Body: Centre for Ageing Better

AMERICAS

Proteger

Purpose: The Buenos Aires city government's Proteger program is intended to reduce instances of elder abuse and provide support for victims. In addition to a hotline that abused individuals or concerned citizens can call for help, the program offers emotional counselling, legal support, and temporary housing to victims of abuse. Older adults can also join the 'Social Defenders' initiative, where they receive training in how to identify signs of abuse, and are encouraged to sensitize their peers and the wider community on issues related to elder abuse and the available resources.

Outcome: Between 2000 and 2018, Proteger helped over 86,000 older adults in Buenos Aires.

Program Expansion: No

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement

Location: Argentina

Timeframe: 1998–present

Funding Body: City Government of Buenos Aires

AFRICA

Coalition of Caregivers and Advocates for the Elderly in Liberia (COCAEL)

Purpose: During the height of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia in 2014, sixteen registered NGOs formed the Coalition of Caregivers and Advocates for the Elderly in Liberia (COCAEL), in response to the invisibility of older persons in the Liberian government’s Ebola strategy. The strategy neglected to name older persons as a vulnerable group, while identifying women and children as being at risk. COCAEL launched advocacy campaigns to bring older people’s needs to the forefront of the public conversation and formed the COCAEL Ebola Response Committee, which solicited donated funds and items to provide food and educational materials focused on awareness and prevention of Ebola to older Liberians, particularly those in residential care settings.

Outcome: COCAEL continues to mainstream the needs of older adults, including by leading celebrations of World Older People Day in Liberia for the first time. In 2020, COCAEL launched a national Older People Stay-At-Home Campaign. In 2021, COCAEL participated in the consultation process for a legislative bill creating a new National Commission for the Elderly in Liberia (NCEL), intended to address the needs of older adults in Liberia.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: Liberia

Timeframe: 2014–present

Funding Body: Local NGOs

WESTERN PACIFIC

Ibasho

Purpose: The Ibasho model is designed to facilitate the social integration of older adults in their local communities and to reduce their vulnerability during and after natural disasters. The first Ibasho project developed following the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, in Ofunato, Japan. Older adults in the community wanted to contribute to the recovery process, and worked with implementing partners to create the 'Ibasho cafe,' where they interact with younger generations through literacy programs, a day care center for children, a noodle shop, and a kitchen garden—the profits from these programs are re-invested in the cafe, making it financially self-sustaining. The model facilitates intergenerational learning and socialization, which strengthen ties between older adults and the surrounding community, while addressing unique local needs.

Outcome: In the first three years of the Ofunato Ibasho cafe's operations, it hosted around 500 events and hosted more than 18,000 visitors. Ibasho models have been established following natural disasters in Nepal, the Philippines, and Cote d'Ivoire, where local older adults are empowered to identify the most appropriate activities for the needs of their community.

Program Expansion: Yes, Ibasho projects have been established in Nepal, the Philippines, and Côte d'Ivoire.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement

Location: Japan

Timeframe: 2012–present

Funding Body: Tenjikai (local NGO); Local governments

GLOBAL

WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC)

Purpose: The 'age-friendly' label for cities and communities was first established by the WHO in 2007 and expanded into the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) in 2010. Members of the GNAFCC are committed to the creation of cities that are nurturing places in which to age, foster the full participation of older persons in community life, and promote healthy and active aging. The Network connects cities and communities working toward these goals to share knowledge and experience, supports those communities to find and implement appropriate solutions to age-related challenges, and aims to inspire change by encouraging other communities to make the same commitment. The WHO also hosts a database of age-friendly practices, based on an agreed framework, helping to establish a shared understanding of 'age-friendliness.'

Outcome: The WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities now includes 1,114 age-friendly cities in 44 countries, serving a population of over 262 million people worldwide.

Program Expansion: Yes, to over 1,114 age-friendly cities in 44 countries.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMAGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
    AGE-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Connecting Stakeholders, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Global

Timeframe: 2010–present

Funding Body: WHO; Local governments

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Decent Life

Purpose: Egypt's Decent Life initiative was launched in 2019 in 375 villages as part of a nationwide effort to achieve sustainable development in rural areas, led by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. The initiative as a whole focuses on poverty reduction and increasing access to basic services and infrastructure. Of particular relevance to older adults in the country is the Regular Medical Caravans project—mobile medical clinics that provide free medical consultations and services, including minor surgeries, to rural communities. Studies predict that, while the country as a whole is aging steadily, rural communities will age at a faster rate than urban ones, due in large part to rural-urban migration of young adults, and a trend of out-migration to rural areas after retirement.

Outcome: In 2021, President Abel Fattah Al-Sisi announced the expansion of Decent Life to a total of 1,500 villages, reaching an estimated 20 percent of the national population. As part of this expansion, the Regular Medical Caravans project will be expanded with the help of the Ministry of Health and Population.

Program Expansion: Yes, to over 1,000 additional villages in Egypt.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Egypt

Timeframe: 2019–present

Funding Body: Ministry of Health and Population, Government of Egypt

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

HelpAge International Focus Groups for Older Adults

Purpose: As part of a multi-stakeholder push to improve quality of life and health care for older adults in Jordan, HelpAge International partnered with the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) in 2020 to hold a series of focus groups and advocacy exercises aimed at identifying the needs and wants of older adults. The focus groups, held in the cities of Amman and Zarqa, highlighted the need to create older adult day centers to encourage social interaction, and to support retired older adults to remain engaged in society and productive work for as long as they want.

Outcome: Recommendations developed as a result of the focus groups have been passed on to the Jordanian Ministry of Health for implementation, in line with the country's National Strategy for Senior Citizens.

Program Expansion: HelpAge recommends that governments and program implementers conduct focus groups with older adults in target communities.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement

Location: Jordan

Timeframe: 2020

Funding Body: HelpAge; Ministry of Health, Government of Jordan; National Council for Family Affairs

AMERICAS

Medical Eracism Initiative

Purpose: The New York City Health + Hospitals public care system recently launched a 'Medical Eracism' project, which takes a systematic approach to eliminating medical racism across the city’s health care infrastructure by identifying and discontinuing medical tests and assessments that are based on biased and inaccurate assumptions about racial difference, particularly the erroneous idea that race is a biological determinant, rather than a social construct. The project therefore aims to improve the standard of care offered to people of color by testing and treating patients equally, and addressing the social determinants of health. Improving standards of care for people of color will help to reduce inequities and disparities that grow throughout a person's lifespan, promoting health at all ages and contributing to the healthy aging of older adults of color.

Outcome: Since May 2021, the initiative has identified two common diagnostic tests that made use of race-based calculations for severity of illness and risk, leading to implicit bias among medical providers and the potential for errors in diagnosis and treatment. The glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) kidney function calculation and the Vaginal Birth After Caesarean-section (VBAC) risk assessment have both been eliminated from the NYC Health + Hospitals system.

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: United States

Timeframe: 2021–present

Funding Body: New York Health + Hospitals System

AFRICA

Maseru Women Senior Citizens Association (MWSCA)

Purpose: The Maseru Women Senior Citizens Association (MWSCA) was founded in 1997 by a group of 10 older women, with the aim of encouraging healthy and active aging and combating discrimination and abuse of older adults in Lesotho. At the time, the government provided few services and resources targeted specifically at the older population of Lesotho. The group acts as both an advocacy organization and a service provider, running educational programs on issues concerning older people, including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; distributing food, seeds for crops, and clothes; and helping to pay school fees.

Outcome: MWSCA continues to operate in Lesotho, including on a project to improve training for domestic caregivers. It is currently the only national NGO focused on the needs of older adults.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: Lesotho

Timeframe: 1997–present

Funding Body: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; HelpAge International

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Older People's Associations

Purpose: The first Older People's Associations (OPA) were established in the Cambodian provinces of Battambang and Banteay Meanchey, following the country's civil war, to support vulnerable older adults in a fragile context and to fill gaps in social support and service delivery caused by the conflict. OPAs are membership-based community organizations that empower older people to help each other and themselves through advocacy, peer-to-peer support, and service delivery on a local level. HelpAge International—and now the government of Cambodia—supports these groups by providing funding and micro-loans, including small business grants, connecting them to services such as home-based care, and delivering civic engagement and advocacy training.

Outcome: There are now OPAs established in every province of Cambodia, with over 300,000 members, as of 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, OPAs have provided vital support to older adults, particularly by disseminating information on disease prevention and vaccinations, as many rural dwellers do not have access to the internet. As vaccinations have become available in Cambodia, HelpAge has distributed small transport grants to local OPAs to help the poorest older adults travel to nearby clinics, leading to an estimated 500 people getting vaccinated.

Program Expansion: As of 2020, there were OPAs active in an estimated 89 countries worldwide.

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement

Location: Cambodia

Timeframe: 1998–present

Funding Body: HelpAge International; Government of Cambodia

AMERICAS

Disrupt Aging Collection

Purpose: The Disrupt Aging Collection was launched in 2019, with an initial library of over 1,400 images selected to demonstrate a more accurate portrait of aging. The Collection is a response and corrective to how people over age 50 are often portrayed in the media: as dependent or socially isolated, an assumption that can lead to ageism and obscures the diversity of experiences of older adults. The Collection includes photos showing older adults at work, with their families, and pursuing hobbies, for example.

Outcome: As part of the Disrupt Aging Initiative, AARP has held events and activities at media and advertising events such as Advertising Week New York, and SXSW festival.

Program Expansion: Unknown

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement

Location: United States

Timeframe: 2019–present

Funding Body: AARP; Getty Images

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Policies to Address the Needs of Older Women

Purpose: India's Senior Citizens Act 2011 includes policies specifically targeted at vulnerable subgroups within the country's older population, particularly rural dwellers and women. The Act seeks to address aspects of the phenomenon of feminization-of-aging, by recognizing older women's increased likelihood of living in poverty in old age and suffering from chronic illness, non-communicable disease, and disability in later life. Over 50 percent of Indian women over age 80 are widows, which can leave them vulnerable to social isolation and make it hard for them to access social services, health care, and elder care. In recognition of these inequities, the Act ensures that single women and widows—including those aged over age 85, the so-called 'oldest old'—can access all available government assistance, including social pensions. Additionally, the country's 12th Five Year plan (2012–17) implemented awareness-raising campaigns around diseases that are more prevalent among older women, including breast cancer. The government also provides tax incentives and counselling services for informal family caregivers, who are usually women.

Outcome: An early analysis of social pensions for widows in India found that they reduce poverty among recipients by 2.7 percentage points. However, social pensions, like many forms of government assistance in India, suffer from low uptake, likely as a result of illiteracy, particularly among older women.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • COMBATTING AGEISMCOMBATTING AGEISM
    COMBATTING AGEISM: Despite the many contributions of older people to society and their wide diversity, negative attitudes about older people are common across societies and are seldom challenged. Stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) toward people on the basis of their age, ageism affect people of all ages but have particularly deleterious effects on the health and well-being of older people.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: India

Timeframe: 2011–present

Funding Body: Government of India

AMERICAS

Integrated National Care System (SNIC)

Purpose: Uruguay's Integrated National Care System (SNIC) was introduced to address the country's growing caregiving crisis, reduce gender inequality, and guarantee high-quality care for all children, people with disabilities, and older adults. The intention is to integrate and coordinate formal and informal caregiving, sharing responsibilities among family, governments, the local community, and the economic marketplace. The system has three core dimensions:

  1. Care provision for children under three years of age, including day care provision in all public institutions, and extensions of paternal and parental leave policies;
  2. Care services for older adults and people with disabilities, including access to personal assistance, day care centers, long-term residential institutions, and the extension of telehealth services; and
  3. The professionalization of the paid care work force, including expanded training opportunities and a certification process.

Outcome: The coordinating authorities report that between March 2019 and 2020, over 6,100 older and disabled people were connected to personal care assistance, and over 4,600 people were employed as care assistants. In March 2020, telehealth services were used by around 1,500, and day care centers by over 200 people.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Connecting Stakeholders, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Uruguay

Timeframe: 2015–present

Funding Body: Government of Uruguay; Inter-American Development Bank

GLOBAL

The 'Four Ms'

Purpose: The 'Four Ms' is an age-friendly framework for simplifying and streamlining health care for older adults by identifying four key areas that drive effective health care decision-making, with the aim of promoting health and wellness, as well as preventing disease. The framework was developed and introduced by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in partnership with several American hospital and health associations, and funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation.

The 'Four Ms' consist of:

  • What Matters: Outlining and adhering to individual older adults’ specific health goals and care preferences, including end-of-life care, based on their priorities;
  • Medication: Where possible, ensuring that any necessary medication does not interfere with older adults’ health goals, mobility, or cognitive function, to preserve quality of life;
  • Mentation: Promoting cognitive function by preventing, identifying, treating, and managing dementia, depression, and delirium;
  • Mobility: Ensuring that older adults can move safely throughout their daily lives to maintain function and do 'what matters' to them.

Outcome: As of August 2021, the IHI had recognized over 2,400 hospitals and health care practices as Age-Friendly Health Systems utilizing the 'Four Ms' around the world.

Program Expansion: Yes, the 'Four Ms' program has been expanded to over 2,400 hospitals and health care practices.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Global

Timeframe: 2017–present

Funding Body: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; John A. Hartford Foundation; American Hospital Association; Catholic Health Association of the United States

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Ranveyla Campaign

Purpose: The Maldives' Ministry of Gender and Family launched the nationwide 'Ranveyla' Campaign in 2016, in order to monitor the health and well-being of senior citizens. While each atoll in the Maldives had different policies implemented, according to its population's needs, the campaign was particularly focused on promoting the rights and health of older persons through awareness and training programs, as well as mainstreaming a focus on older persons' needs across all sectors of society, such as health care providers, schools, and police.

Outcome: Each Atoll had different programs implemented, according to the needs of its elderly population. Across a year of implementation, 178 older adults (over age 65) in Lhaviyani Atoll, for example, had their blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), and blood sugar levels monitored, in partnership with the Lhaviyani Atoll Hospital and other local health centers. Local health care providers and social workers also completed training during a two-day workshop in order to better care for the needs of older persons, and 120 older persons participated in educational seminars on elder care and community participation. There were also sessions focused on building intergenerational ties between youth and older adults in Lhaviyani Atoll. The Campaign as a whole also inspired the drafting of the country's first 'National Elderly Policy' in 2017, after consultation with stakeholders and information-gathering about the country's elderly population that took place during the Campaign. The National Elderly Policy, which was formally ratified in 2018, is formulated along four key themes: 'care and protection,' 'independence and participation,' ' health and wellbeing,' and 'preparation for old age.' Following the Policy, a National Elderly Action Plan (NEAP) was formed in 2019 to put the principles of the Policy into action. As of 2021, the country was undergoing a nation-wide assessment of its elderly population's needs and experiences.

Program Expansion: Yes, throughout the entire country.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: Maldives

Timeframe: 2016–2017

Funding Body: Ministry of Gender and Family, Government of the Maldives; Local health centers

EUROPE

Let Me Decide Programme

Purpose: Ireland’s Let Me Decide Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care Programme integrates palliative care and long-term care, providing expanded access to palliative care that prioritizes the preferences and needs of older people. The pilot allowed patients in six Irish LTC (five nursing homes and one hospice) facilities to establish end-of-life directives, including for palliative care, and 90 medical staff across the facilities were trained in palliative care techniques.

Outcome: During the three-year implementation period, there was a dramatic increase in palliative care services uptake among LTC residents—from 25 percent before the program to 76 percent during the program—which suggests that palliative care is attractive to older adults if it is offered as a viable option. There were also precipitous drops in hospitalization rates, in-hospital time, and in-hospital deaths, compared to the baseline. The program also lowered costs and improved quality of hospitalization, death, and dying in the nursing homes as compared to hospitals. The estimated cost savings from the reduction in hospital resources used, if the program were expanded throughout Ireland, could reach €17.7 to €42.4 million nationally.

Program Expansion: A similar program is being piloted in Portugal.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: Ireland

Timeframe: Piloted in 2014–2017; upscaled in 2016

Funding Body: Health Research Board, Government of Ireland; Long-term care facilities in south Ireland

AMERICAS

The CAPABLE Model

Purpose: The Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) program aims to reduce the impact of disability among low-income older adults by addressing individual capacities and the home environment. The program deploys a three-person team consisting of a registered nurse, an occupational therapist, and a handyman to support participants set and achieve goals around activities for daily living and personal mobility. This inter-professional team provides assistive devices, makes home repairs, and modifies living spaces to enable participants to navigate their homes more easily.

Outcome: In its initial pilot period between 2012 and 2015, 281 people aged 65 and over, who were dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, were admitted to the program. All 281 had difficulty performing basic activities required for daily living (ADLs), such as cooking or bathing. After completing the five-month program, 75 percent of participants saw an increase in functional ability, including ADLs, and the ability to grocery shop and manage medications. Symptoms of depression decreased, and participants reported improved motivation. The program cost roughly $3,000 and is estimated to have saved nearly $20,000 in medical costs across all participants, due to reductions in inpatient and outpatient expenditures.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: United States

Timeframe: 2012–present

Funding Body: Johns Hopkins University; Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Middle East Academy for Medicine of Ageing

Purpose: The Middle East Academy for Medicine of Ageing (MEAMA) is a dedicated geriatric training and educational hub serving the entire region. The aim of MEAMA is to boost the number of health care professionals with training in geriatrics. The academy is run by a group of volunteer geriatricians from the region and Europe that run short courses and conferences for health care professionals. MEAMA hosts a two-year postgraduate course that consists of four geriatric training courses lasting a few days every six months. Most courses take place in Lebanon, delivered in Arabic.

Outcome: In total, an estimated 800 students have gone through the course.

Program Expansion: Yes, the gerontology program is now offered in Tunisia in French.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: Lebanon; across region

Timeframe: 2002–present

Funding Body: NA

AFRICA

Better Health for Older People in Africa Programme

Purpose: HelpAge International partnered with local NGOs and national governments to deliver better health outcomes and reduce poverty among older people in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The project included geriatric and noncommunicable disease (NCD) training for health professionals, home-based and family caregiving training, community-based training for health workers and volunteers, the development of older people’s associations, the development of curricula for medical schools, and the development of surveys of older persons to monitor accessibility and satisfaction with health services.

Outcome: While the program was not continued in the four original implementing countries, over the initial implementation period, the program increased the number of health facilities from 18 to 149 across the four countries. The program also trained 1,326 home-based caregivers and 2,074 health professionals in geriatric and noncommunicable disease (NCD) care. It also successfully changed the medical school curriculum to include education on geriatric care and NCDs in Tanzania. In Ethiopia, the program’s success inspired some hospitals to set up specialist NCD clinics. It also inspired the Ministry of Health to roll out its own training on NCDs and geriatric care, following the success of the program.

Program Expansion: Yes, in 2018, the German government provided additional funding to HelpAge International to continue the program in Tanzania.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: Ethiopia; Mozambique; Tanzania; Zimbabwe

Timeframe: 2014–2017; 2018—present (in Tanzania)

Funding Body: HelpAge International; Local NGOs and service providers; Ministries of Health, National governments

AMERICAS

iN2L

Purpose: iN2L is a technology company that develops tablets and touch-screen devices to support older people’s independence and cognition. The system provides access to more than 4,000 content items and social media. The tablet also includes a dementia care interface, which is organized into categories such as 'reminiscence,' 'entertain,' and 'stay connected.' This dementia care interface was designed in collaboration with target users. Product developers worked iteratively, testing each new idea and development on a focus group of older adults with dementia to ensure that it met their needs and was usable by people with a range of digital literacy and mobility abilities. The system also allows the user to create custom grouping of applications and place them under icons for a specific resident or staff member.

Outcome: iN2L tablet usage among people with dementia has been found to increase resident engagement with others and satisfaction with care. Tablet usage is also associated with improved physical performance and increased mental stimulation.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: United States

Timeframe: 1999–present

Funding Body: iN2L (Private business)

WESTERN PACIFIC

Active Ageing Centers and Active Ageing Care Hubs

Purpose: Active Ageing Centers and Active Ageing Care Hubs are drop-in centers for older persons in Singapore, providing a space for older adults living nearby to socialize and receive care. The hubs provide a range of preventative, rehabilitative, and promotive health care services, in addition to community activities. Some of the health and care services offered include day care, dementia care, rehabilitation, home health services, fall risk and wellness screenings, and mental health services. These hubs are created in partnership with local grassroots organizations, health care providers, and corporations and are staffed by both by professionals and volunteers. The hubs also act as information and referral points for older adults who need additional support or government services.

Outcome: There are a total of nine centers and hubs across the island. The hubs have been heralded as a great success by Singapore’s government. At the Ageing Hub located in the Kampung Admirality, which is an innovative, age-friendly public housing development for older people, one in five residents uses the Active Ageing Hub located in the building. Another hub located in Bedok is estimated to have helped more than 32,000 older persons over three years.

Program Expansion: Yes, additional hubs have been added since the initiative began in 2018, and more are planned.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement, Strengthening Research, Data, and Innovation

Location: Singapore

Timeframe: 2018–present

Funding Body: National Agency for Integrated Care, Ministry of Health, Government of Singapore; Local NGOs; Health care providers; Private businesses

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Community-Based Long-Term Care

Purpose: Thailand’s Community-based Long-term Care (LTC) Program aims to provide in-home care for homebound and bedridden older adults over 60 years of age. Services provided include coordinated care and in-home visits by home caregivers for up to 8 hours a week, depending on need and availability. Care is provided by part-time volunteer and paid caregivers from the community, building on a decades-long history of community health volunteerism. Caregivers receive 70 hours of training covering first aid, the rights of older persons, drug administration, and care for critical and chronic conditions. The Thai Community-based LTC Program was inspired by similar programs in Japan.

Outcome: The initial pilot began with a budget of $19 million and a target of 100,000 beneficiaries in 1,000 subdistricts. Since its inception, it has been scaled up annually, providing services to almost 100,000 additional older adults by 2018.

Program Expansion: Yes, the LTC Program has been scaled up annually since its inception.

  • INTEGRATED CAREINTEGRATED CARE
    INTEGRATED CARE: Older people require non-discriminatory access to good-quality essential health services that include prevention; promotion; curative, rehabilitative, palliative and end-of-life care; safe, affordable, effective, good-quality essential medicines and vaccines; dental care and health and assistive technologies, while ensuring that use of these services does not cause the user financial hardship.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders, Voice and Engagement

Location: Thailand

Timeframe: Piloted in 2016; expanded in 2018

Funding Body: National Health Security Office, Government of Thailand; Local governments; Local health and social service organizations

EUROPE

Lær at Tackle Hverdagen Som Pårørende (Learn to Thank Yourself Everyday as a Relative)

Purpose: The Danish program aims to promote self-care and mental health among informal caregivers of people living with dementia or other long-term diseases, as many family caregivers develop physical or mental health problems as a result of caregiving. The program conducts weekly interactive training sessions that allow informal caregivers to share experiences and limit social isolation. The session also allows caregivers to learn skills and build resilience to handle stress associated with caregiving.

Outcome: Between 2018 and 2021, the program has been carried out in all 98 municipalities in Denmark. A survey of participants found that the courses were shown to decrease the risk of prolonged stress and depression, as well as increase physical and mental well-among participants.

Program Expansion: Yes, until the end of 2021, municipalities can receive support for the start-up and operation of this program from the Ministry of Health and Elderly.

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE
    LONG-TERM CARE: Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: Denmark

Timeframe: 2018–2021

Funding Body: Government of Denmark; Danish Committee for Health Education (national NGO); City Government of Copenhagen

EUROPE

Caregiving and Ageing Reimagined for Europe (CARE) Campus

Purpose: CARE Campus provides online qualitative training courses for professional and family caregivers in Europe. The courses are available in French and English to anyone who signs up. Ten courses are currently available that cover a range of topics, including age-related diseases and disorders, technology and aging, end-of-life caregiving, nutrition, and supporting personal care for older adults.

Outcome: Between 2018 and 2019, nearly 12,000 people registered for the courses. Other projects have been carried out in connection to the courses, including informational events in Paris and Nice in France and Coimbra in Portugal.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE
    LONG-TERM CARE: Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: European Union

Timeframe: 2016

Funding Body: EIT Health; European Union; Academic institutions; Private corporations; Local NGOs

WESTERN PACIFIC

Long-Term Care Insurance

Purpose: Japan’s long-term care (LTC) insurance provides benefits for the long-term care of persons aged 65 and over, or those over 40 years old with age-related disabilities. LTC services can be accessed by those that are insured and who are certified for support. Once certified, care is delivered according to care needs and coverage includes institutional, home, and community-based services. The insurance scheme covers 90 percent of the cost of services and requires beneficiaries to pay a 10 percent copay. This public program is financed through taxes and premiums, which are paid by all persons aged 40 and over.

Outcome: As of 2019, the program covered more than 60 million people and helped fund long-term care services for nearly six million people.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE
    LONG-TERM CARE: Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Japan

Timeframe: 2000–present

Funding Body: Government of Japan

EUROPE

The Family Care Allowance Act

Purpose: The Family Care Allowance Act supports qualifying family caregivers with various services and a monthly allowance paid by the municipal government to the caregiver. In 2021, the allowance or 'care fee' equaled at least €413.45 per month. The law also provides services to support caregiver's well-being and care duties, including training as well as mental and physical health services. The law also establishes caregiver leave, which provides caregivers at least two days off per month. During caregiver leave, the municipality arranges home-based or institutional care for free. To qualify, caregivers must enter into an agreement with the municipality, which requires the consent of the person receiving care.

Outcome: In 2019, approximately 50,600 people received family care support.

Program Expansion: N/A

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE
    LONG-TERM CARE: Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: Finland

Timeframe: 2005

Funding Body: Local governments

AFRICA

Rand Aid Association

Purpose: The nonprofit Rand Aid Association builds retirement villages and frail care centers in Johannesburg, South Africa, that emphasize the autonomy and choice of older adults, who can adapt their homes or move into residential care facilities as their health needs evolve. Most of the retirement villages are governed by a 'life rights' model, in which people can choose to buy a life-long right to occupy a unit in the villages, which can be passed on or terminated at will. One of the villages has units that can be rented, rather than bought. Three mornings per week, the Zamokuhle outreach program assists retired persons in three communities in Johannesburg to age-in-place in their homes. The outreach program also facilitates intergenerational connection, provides nutritional support through breakfasts and lunches, and helps older persons understand their rights as elders, among other activities. The Rand Aid Association also supports another organization, called the Joseph Gerard Foundation, to provide frail care by building its capacity and providing meals.

Outcome: As of 2020, the retirement villages and frail care centers collectively housed about 3,000 residents, while the separate frail center supported about 130 patients. Many of the residents of the frail center also have neurocognitive impairment or mental health challenges as well as frailty, and are cared for by a dedicated team of multidisciplinary staff.

Program Expansion: Yes, in 2009, the Rand Aid Association expanded its program from paid retirement villages and long-term care for frail residents to found the Zamokuhle outreach program.

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE
    LONG-TERM CARE: Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building, Connecting Stakeholders

Location: South Africa

Timeframe: 1903–present

Funding Body: Rand Aid Association (local NGO)

AMERICAS

Cooperative Home Care Associates

Purpose: Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) is the United States' largest worker-owned cooperative for professional caregivers, with over 2,000 employees. CHCA aims to provide high-quality home-based care, largely to older adults covered by Medicare and Medicaid, through the creation of well-paid, stable caregiving jobs. Cooperative staff go through a four-week initial training course, and receive a starting salary of $15 per hour, medical and dental benefits, paid time off, and the ability to buy into the cooperative and receive annual dividends and voting rights. CHCA also offers free training to 600 low-income women of color annually.

Outcome: CHCA has grown from an initial staff of 12 home care aides to over 2,000.

Program Expansion: Yes, in 2019, CHCA partnered with Independence Care System, a local NGO, to offer step-up training for care workers who wish to become care coordinators—a more advanced qualification that can act as a pathway to further training.

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE
    LONG-TERM CARE: Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

Decade Enablers: Leadership and Capacity-Building

Location: United States

Timeframe: 1985–present

Funding Body: Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) (local NGO); Independence Care System (local NGO)

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Ehsan Club

Purpose: The Center for Elderly Empowerment and Care (called Ehsan) offers an adult day care service in three locations in Qatar. The service provides free community-based respite and day care for older persons who rely mostly on family-based care. The Club organizes recreational trip and offers older persons a chance to socialize and participate in workshops to learn different skills. During the pandemic, the Club launched a Continuous Support Campaign to maintain continuous communication with participants.

Outcome: The Ehsan Club allows family caregivers to take a break from the demands of caregiving, while providing older people a chance to socialize and participate in meaningful activities. The clubs have brought together at least 344 women, who participate in activities four times weekly.

Program Expansion: The Ehsan Club plans to further expand its services to two more locations.

  • LONG-TERM CARELONG-TERM CARE
    LONG-TERM CARE: Significant declines in physical and mental capacity can limit older people’s ability to care for themselves and to participate in society. Access to rehabilitation, assistive technologies, and supportive and inclusive environments can improve the situation; however, many people reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without support and assistance. Access to good-quality long-term care is essential for such people to maintain their functional ability, enjoy basic human rights, and live with dignity.

Decade Enablers: Voice and Engagement

Location: Qatar

Timeframe: 2014–present

Funding Body: Center for Elderly Empowerment and Care (Ehsan); Qatar Foundation for Social Work

RESOURCES

Searchable by theme, this database contains research, policy papers, and other resources to support policymakers and practitioners in the following issue areas:

ACCESSING HEALTH CAREACCESSING HEALTH CARE

  • Praxis (India) is a development-support organization aiming to democratize development processes to make them more inclusive, relevant, and responsive for marginalized communities. Read more
  • The paper "Cognitive Impairment and Reduced Quality of Life Among Old-Age Goups in Southern Urban India: Home-Based Community Residents, Free and Paid Old-Age Home Residents" examines cognitive impairment among older adults in three types of care facilities and found that free charitable home residents had the highest rate of cognitive impairment. Read more
  • AgeAction's web portal provides resources focused on a range of issues affecting older adults in developing economies including health, income insecurity, HIV/AIDS, humanitarian responses, among other topics. Read more
  • HelpAge International recently published case studies on the Older People's Associations (OPAs) model for linking health and care systems in Bangladesh and Cambodia. Read more
  • Stanford Medicine's Citizen Science for Health Equity program is testing and applying an auditing tool that allows residents in Brazil and Chile to collect diagnostic information about their community environments. Read more
  • The journal article, "Prospective Measures of Aging for Central and South America," addresses the complexities of defining aging and takes a dynamic approach to more effectively design and target policy supports and interventions. Read more

CHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING ECONOMIESCHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING ECONOMIES

  • The EU’s DigitalHealthEurope will provide comprehensive support to the Digital Health and Care Innovation initiative in the context of the Digital Single Market Strategy. Read more
  • EIT Health is an EU-funded and EU-based network that connects world-class organizations across Europe from the worlds of business, research, and education. Read more
  • The European Health Data Space (not age-specific) is one of the priorities of the Commission 2019-2025 and will promote better exchange and access to different types of health data (e.g., electronic health records, genomics data, and data from patient registries). Read more
  • Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion, includes calls for programs on “staying healthy.” Read more
  • EU4Health is the EU’s ambitious response to COVID-19, which will go beyond crisis response to address health care systems’ resilience. Read more
  • The AARP State Resources page compiles surveys, reports, and fact sheets on the needs and concerns of AARP members and older adults in all 50 U.S. states and additional territories. Read more

COLLABORATIVE POLICYMAKINGCOLLABORATIVE POLICYMAKING

  • The EU’s DigitalHealthEurope will provide comprehensive support to the Digital Health and Care Innovation initiative in the context of the Digital Single Market Strategy. Read more
  • EIT Health is an EU-funded and EU-based network that connects world-class organizations across Europe from the worlds of business, research, and education. Read more
  • The European Health Data Space (not age-specific) is one of the priorities of the Commission 2019-2025 and will promote better exchange and access to different types of health data (e.g., electronic health records, genomics data, and data from patient registries). Read more
  • Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion, includes calls for programs on “staying healthy.” Read more
  • EU4Health is the EU’s ambitious response to COVID-19, which will go beyond crisis response to address health care systems’ resilience. Read more
  • The AARP State Resources page compiles surveys, reports, and fact sheets on the needs and concerns of AARP members and older adults in all 50 U.S. states and additional territories. Read more

GLOBAL AND NATIONAL PLANS AND STRATEGIES FOR HEALTHY AGINGGLOBAL AND NATIONAL PLANS AND STRATEGIES FOR HEALTHY AGING

  • The WHO Resolution on the "Social Determinants of Health" was adopted in January 2021 by 194 countries. Read more
  • California's "Master Plan for Aging" outlines five areas and 23 strategies for healthy aging in California. Read more
  • The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People is a good resource to learn about the work of seeking a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. Read more
  • Sláintecare is a ten-year program to transform Ireland’s health and social care services. Read more
  • The "General Comment No. 7 (2018) on the Participation of Persons with Disabilities, Including Children with Disabilities, Through Ttheir Representative Organizations, in the Implementation and Monitoring of the Convention," from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, acknowledges gaps but encourages including disabled people in national and international processes. Read more
  • The WHO's Decade of Healthy Ageing's Baseline Report addresses five key issues, including opportunities to boost impact and collaboration. Read more
  • The three-member International Advisory Committee (coordinated by the Agency for Aid Effectiveness) to the Ministry of Health in Singapore has a major focus on systems designs for geriatric care and health aging. Read more
  • Taiwan has a national framework for supporting its aging population. It is comprehensive in design and concept. Read more
  • The European Commission published its 2021 "Green Paper on Ageing," launching a broad policy debate to discuss the challenges and opportunities from aging demographics, tying into the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UN Decade for Healthy Ageing. Read more
  • The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released a "Global Report on Ageism" that summarizes the best evidence about the scale, the impacts, and the determinants of ageism and the most effective strategies to reduce it. Read more
  • The Regional Commission ECLAC has published a paper on protecting the rights of older persons during COVID-19, called "Challenges for the Protection of Older Persons and Their Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic." Read more
  • A presentation, titled "Measuring the Adaptation of Countries to Societal Aging," analyzes how countries have adapted across five key domains. Read more
  • The WHO announced a call for experts to join a formal Technical Advisory Group (TAG), which will provide advice on the measurement, monitoring, and evaluation of the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030) and programs related to the action areas. Read more
  • FP Analytics' and AARP's "Aging Readiness and Competitiveness" reports identify promising practices in aging policy and innovations in major economies and developing countries around the world. Read more

MULTI-SECTORAL INNOVATIONSMULTI-SECTORAL INNOVATIONS

  • The Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) (UK) has been transforming the practice of policy evaluation across the food, energy, water, and environmental domains, to make it fit for a complex world. Read more
  • The Social Prescribing Network (UK) enables GPs and other frontline health care professionals to refer patients to a link worker. Read more
  • In "A Call for Standardised Age-Disaggregated Health Data," the authors outline the challenges of collecting disaggregated data, as well as propose a recommended set of age groupings to address the issue. Read more
  • This FrameWorks brief lays out an approach to changing public thinking about aging in America. Read more
  • The Gerontological Society of America is leading a group of ten U.S.-based aging organizations in advancing Reframing Aging, a long-term social change initiative to combat ageism and change the "conventional wisdom" the public has about aging. Read more
  • Luminate, Scotland's "creative ageing organisation" aims to support older persons in pursuing creative activities. Read more
  • Ireland's Age & Opportunity NGO runs the Bealtaine Festival, which celebrates arts and creativity for older persons. Read more
  • In 2019, the Age Against the Machine Festival of Creative Ageing in the London Borough of Lewisham featured over 70 events. Read more
  • The Baring Foundation's "Resources" page highlights reports and newsletters across several program themes, including the arts and international development. Read more
  • The "What Is the Evidence on the Role of the Arts in Improving Health and Well-Being? A Scoping Review (2019)" report found that access to the arts can aid in the prevention of ill health, promotion of health, and management and treatment of illness across the lifespan. Read more
  • "Dying to Know Day" is an Australian annual campaign from the Groundswell Project where people are encouraged to start conversations about death. Read more
  • The "Monitoring and Assessment Framework for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing" (MAFEIP) intends to support evidence-based decision-making processes for all institutions and users in the health and care sectors. Read more
  • DigitalEurope is a European organization that represents the digital technology industry. Its members include 61 major technology companies and 37 national trade associations. Read more
  • While not directly focused on older adults, the "Public Narrative" worksheet encourages self-expression and leadership development. Read more
  • Barry Williams ("Greg" from The Brady Bunch) hosts a short video on aging and caregiving, in collaboration with the SCAN Foundation. Read more

STRAIN ON THE GLOBAL CARE ECONOMY

  • "Hope’s Heroes" is a SCAN Foundation microsite that honors female caregivers through personal stories. Read more
  • FP Analytics’ “Elevating Gender Equality in COVID-19 Economic Recovery” provides a meta-analysis of leading research on the pandemic’s impact on women, a deep-dive on the care crisis, and recommendations for action by policymakers and other stakeholders around the world. Read more
  • A paper published in Feminist Economics addresses how investing in high-quality care can stimulate and rebalance the economy. Read more
  • Fraym's recently published "COVID-19 Pandemic Impact, Response, and Recovery Study" highlights how the pandemic has exacerbated the care crisis in countries around the world, and simulates how targeted interventions could facilitate a gender-transformative recovery. Read more
  • The 2020 "Caregving in the U.S." report from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving paints a portrait of unpaid family caregivers and provides data to inform policy and programmatic decisionmaking. Read more
  • The Lancet's Healthy Longevity initiative published, "Care for Ageing Populations Globally," which examines aging trends in low- and middle-income countries and the growing demands on health care infrastructure, notably geriatric care. Read more

SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTSSUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS

  • A new WHO data portal with country profiles assists in comparing countries on a range of indicators related to healthy aging. Read more
  • The Participatory System Mapper (PRSM) (UK) is a free, open-source, and secure tool for mind-mapping and system visualization. Read more
  • The WHO's page on "Social Isolation and Loneliness" acknowledges that social isolation is a social determinant of health. Read more
  • A brief from the Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network and the Commonwealth Fund presents lessons learned from global programs to address social isolation and loneliness. Read more
  • The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) is an initiative launched by the European Commission to foster innovation and digital transformation in the field of active and healthy aging. Read more
  • The WHO, DESA, ITU, and UN Women launched an advocacy brief on social isolation and loneliness. Read more
  • The FCC-NCI Broadband Cancer Collaboration project, called "Linking & Amplifying User-Centered Networks through Connected Health: A Demonstration of Broadband-Enabled Connected Health and Community-Based Co-Design" (LAUNCH), targets the use of broadband connectivity to help reach otherwise isolated populations, particularly those living in rural "cancer hotspots." Read more
  • The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ World Population Ageing 2020 Highlights analyzed living arrangements of older persons around the world. Read more
  • A report by AARP, the World Economic Forum, and the OECD, called "Growing with Age: Unlocking the Power of the Multigenerational Workforce," found that age inclusion in the workplace is an untapped source of growth for companies and economies. Read more
  • AARP and the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2020 research, "The Economic Impact of Age Discrimination," finds that workplace ageism could cost the U.S. economy $850 billion. Read more
  • AARP's Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) program offers classes and training to older adults in digital literacy and technology use to close the age digital divide. Read more

DATABASE OF ACTION PLANS FOR AGING

Building upon our 2021 work on Innovation and Leadership in Healthy Aging, FP Analytics selected 13 national and two subnational plans on healthy aging for inclusion in the digital toolkit and resource hub. The plan selection was informed by desk research and input from AARP. The plans highlighted below were chosen to represent the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions and varying levels of development. Note that plan selection was limited to those available in English or Spanish. The diverse selection provides insight into a range of factors impacting program design and implementation, including a country’s level of development, local contextual factors, regional norms, and approach to COVID-19, among others. This project establishes a “living” database of national- and subnational-level plans that will be added to and will grow over time.

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Europe

Age Friendly Wales: Our Strategy For An Ageing Society - Wales

Context: Roughly 25 percent of the Welsh population will be age 65 and over by 2038, according to the United Kingdom Office of National Statistics. Already, an estimated 12.5 percent of older people in Wales live in poverty, demanding government intervention to ensure all people can enjoy health and financial security into old age. To address these concerns, the Welsh government has been at the forefront of aging policy, developing its first national strategy around aging, the Strategy for Older People, in 2003. This prioritization of aging policy led to the creation of the world’s first Older People’s Commissioner, as well as numerous achievements around the health and well-being of older people in Wales. The latest strategy, Age-Friendly Wales (2021), seeks to build on these successes and spans multiple policy areas, including financial security.

Plan Development: In addition to demographic and medical research, Age Friendly Wales: Our Strategy for an Ageing Society, published in 2021, was informed by input from those age 50 and over through surveys and forums held in each local authority. This extensive consultation process helped ensure that the strategy was specifically designed around the needs and wants of older people in Wales. 

Principles & Goals: The strategy is underpinned by three “cross-cutting themes,” which include creating an age-friendly environment, prioritizing prevention of chronic disease, and promoting older persons’ rights. It is notable that the Age Friendly Wales Strategy takes an explicit human rights approach to aging, aligning itself with the UN Principles for Older Persons. With these rights in mind, the strategy addresses community planning, civic engagement, employment and financial security, social inclusion, access to health, long-term care, transportation, and housing. It centers around four “aims”: 1) enhancing well-being, 2) improving local services and environments, 3) building and retaining people’s own capability, and 4) tackling age-related poverty. Each “aim” provides examples of actions taken by the government to improve older people’s access and experience in that area, as well as priorities for the future. For example, the strategy seeks to improve access to public bathrooms as a future priority to achieve Aim 2, improving local services and environments. Additionally, the strategy provides relevant examples of how technology is improving services, products, and environments for older persons in Wales. For example, the strategy highlights the Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health, and Wellbeing program, which supports the digital inclusion of all people in Wales, including older adults.

Execution & Achievements: The Age Friendly Wales Strategy was only recently published. As such, a delivery plan is still to be released, and specific policies or programs have yet to be enacted. Wales also has yet to publish metrics to track progress toward the Strategy, though an Action Plan and metrics are expected in late 2022. However, the Strategy highlights ongoing projects and programs alongside longer-term priorities. Many of these ongoing projects and programs targeting older Welsh adults were established by the strategy’s predecessor, the 2003 Strategy for Older People. For example, over its three phases, that policy introduced free bus passes for older persons and promoted a maximum weekly out-of-pocket payment limit for home care and social support services (currently £100) for older persons, enabling older people to age in their homes and communities. These successes are, in part, the result of detailed delivery plans that accompanied each phase of the strategy. These delivery plans included timelines for specific actions and metrics by which progress can be measured. 

Current Status & References: For updates on the status of the plan, contact ask@olderpeoplewales.com. For more information, see this website to view the Strategy. 

[1] The term “ageing” is used when the title of a resource uses British spelling, such as the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing.

  • Equity and Diversity
    Older women; racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; displaced peoples; persons with disabilities; LGBTQ persons; indigenous peoples; and people in specific settings, such as fragile states, may face disadvantages or discrimination, which can prevent them from accessing social and health services. This plan acknowledges inequities among disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and combats health and economic disparities.
  • Budget
    Successful implementation of healthy plans requires sufficient funding. This plan or relevant supporting documents provide information that indicates financial resources were allocated to execute the plan’s recommendations.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • COVID-19
    This plan addresses the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. For aging plans developed after 2020, policymakers should consider the gaps in social protection and global health systems among older adults that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prepare for future disease outbreaks.
  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Wales, Subnational

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Welsh Commissioner for Older People

Timeframe: Released in 2021

Total population: 3.17 million (2020)
Older population: 21 percent of population over age 65 (2020)
Projections: 25 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2038
GDP per capita: £24,586 (Wales - 2019)

More info on the plan

Europe

National Positive Ageing Strategy - Ireland

Context: By 2051, Ireland’s population of adults over age 65 is projected to double, and its population age over 80 could quadruple. According to the 2011 census, roughly 42 percent of older adults currently live in rural areas, which creates delivery challenges. To plan for an aging Ireland, the Department of Health spearheaded the development of the National Positive Ageing Strategy in 2013.

Plan Development: The Strategy was developed by a Cross-Departmental Group composed of representatives from relevant government agencies with input from government stakeholders, older people, health and service professionals, academics, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). This input was solicited through public consultation, as well as through the development of an NGO Liaison Group, which comprised representatives from twelve national-level NGOs that represented the interests of older persons. The consultation process for the Strategy included a public call for written submissions, a series of regional meetings attended by older people and other representatives, and meetings between the Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, and groups representing older people. The Cross-Departmental Group also visited a roundtable meeting in Louth—the first age-friendly county in Ireland—to understand the county’s Age-Friendly County Initiative. Additionally, the Strategy was informed by a review of strategies on aging from around the world, including healthy aging policies and plans from Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands

Principles & Goals: The Strategy establishes six national goals to promote and enable positive aging. The first goal seeks to remove barriers to and provide increased opportunities for older adults in cultural, economic, and social life. The second, third, and fourth goals center on health, aging-in-place, and research, respectively. Additionally, the Strategy includes two other goals—combating ageism and improving older people’s access to information—that cut across policy development and service delivery for older people. Each of these goals is underpinned by objectives relevant to the goals’ respective policy areas. These goals were selected with regards to human rights and the World Health Organization’s Active Ageing framework

Execution & Achievements: The Positive Ageing Strategy has led to noteworthy achievements in Ireland regarding research, aging-in-place, and age-friendly communities. For example, Sláintecare, a ten-year plan to move toward universal health care, has prioritized the development of programs such as the National Healthy Age-Friendly Homes Programme to ensure as many as 4,500 homes across Ireland have the support necessary to age-in-place. Implementation of the strategy is tracked by 103 indicators. These indicators track progress related to participation, healthy aging, security, and the Strategy’s cross-cutting objectives with additional indicators to track aging among certain marginalized groups, including Irish Travellers and people with intellectual disabilities. Indicators were formulated based on research and data developed from the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing, alongside other government census and health statistics.

Current Status & References: The last implementation report was published in 2018. Progress and funding for several report goals have been made since the 2018 report, though, as of April 2022, no further implementation reports have been published. For more information, see this website to view the Strategy. 

  • Equity and Diversity
    Older women; racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; displaced peoples; persons with disabilities; LGBTQ persons; indigenous peoples; and people in specific settings, such as fragile states, may face disadvantages or discrimination, which can prevent them from accessing social and health services. This plan acknowledges inequities among disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and combats health and economic disparities.
  • Budget
    Successful implementation of healthy plans requires sufficient funding. This plan or relevant supporting documents provide information that indicates financial resources were allocated to execute the plan’s recommendations.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Ireland, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Department of Health

Timeframe: 2009; revised in 2014

Total population: 4.99 million (2020)
Older population: 14.2 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 18.1 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $85,267.80 (2020)

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Europe

National Comprehensive Strategy For Active Ageing - Bulgaria

Context: The population of Bulgaria is one of the oldest in the world by median age. By 2060, the share of Bulgaria’s population over age 65 years of age is expected to rise to 32.5 percent. As a result, Bulgaria is headed toward a steep decline in its population size, which has already decreased by 11.5 percent between 2011 and 2021. Bulgaria’s aging population, low fertility rates, high mortality rates, and migration patterns are projected to significantly shrink the working-age population at a rate that will outpace every other country in Europe. As a result, Bulgaria developed the National Comprehensive Strategy for Active Ageing in 2016 to meet the potential economic, societal, and health challenges associated with an aging population,

Plan Development: This Strategy was developed based on the results of local roundtables on aging, as well as national, multinational, and European datasets. In particular, the Strategy’s development reflects the indicators and priorities of the Active Ageing Index (AAI), a tool created to measure active and healthy aging across European countries. According to the AAI 2018 results, Bulgaria lags behind a majority of countries in key AAI indicators, including those regarding societal participation and healthy living. 

Principles & Goals: The Strategy centers around the same four priorities as the AAI. These priorities are: 1) promoting active aging in the workforce; 2) promoting active aging through participation in society; 3) promoting active aging through independent living; and 4) building capacity and a favorable environment for active aging at a national and regional level. Principles of the Strategy implicitly support human rights, prioritizing independence, access, participation, and dignity.

Execution & Achievements: There are detailed policies associated with the four priorities of the National Strategy for Active Ageing, which was developed around the 22 metrics established by AAI. To better understand the needs of older adults and progress made by the Strategy, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy has commissioned a survey to collect up-to-date information on the indicators of the Active Ageing Index. The realization of these measures will be monitored through biannual plans and biannual reports on the Strategy implementation. An evaluation of the Strategy will be conducted every four years during its period of implementation (2019–2030). The first report was released in 2021 and revealed the need for additional integration across the key sectors of employment, health care, education, social security, and social assistance in order to achieve the plan’s goals.

Current Status & References: To date, two Action Plans have been prepared and adopted by the Council of Ministers for implementation of the National Strategy for Active Ageing in Bulgaria, covering the periods 2019–2020 and 2021–2022. The latest Action Plan for 2021–2022 prioritizes measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, improve employment opportunities, and boost civic participation among older adults. For more information, see this website to view the Strategy. 

  • Budget
    Successful implementation of healthy plans requires sufficient funding. This plan or relevant supporting documents provide information that indicates financial resources were allocated to execute the plan’s recommendations.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • COVID-19
    This plan addresses the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. For aging plans developed after 2020, policymakers should consider the gaps in social protection and global health systems among older adults that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prepare for future disease outbreaks.

Jurisdiction: Bulgaria, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

Timeframe: 2016–2030

Total population: 6.93 million (2020)
Older population: 21.3 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 23.4 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $10,079.20 (2020)

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Europe

National Strategic Policy For Active Ageing - Malta

Context: Like many other European Union countries, Malta’s population is aging at a rapid rate, leading to population decline. By 2030, one in five people in Malta is projected to be age 60 or over. Given this rapid rate of aging, Malta was among the first countries in the world to adopt a national strategic policy around aging, with a policy in place prior to the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing’s publication in 2002. These national policies have helped Malta’s older persons enjoy some of Europe’s longest lifespans spent in good health, with over 90 percent of the average Maltese’s lifespan spent without significant disabilities or illnesses. In 2014, Malta adopted its latest National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing, which was current until 2020. Public consultation is ongoing for a new National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing that will cover the years 2021–2027.

Plan Development: In developing the 2014 Policy, Malta’s government utilized an extended consultation process, led by the National Commission for Active Ageing, which is a commission of 8 experts housed under the Ministry for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing. The consultation took place through informal communications, as well as a Public Consultation Seminar that allowed stakeholders and the general public opportunities to discuss and suggest recommendations and issues surrounding aging in Malta. In addition to the consultation process, the Policy was developed based on the European Commission’s and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s 2013 Active Ageing Index (AAI).                

Principles & Goals: Taking inspiration from the AAI, the Policy is organized around three major themes: labor market participation, social participation, and independent living. Within these themes, the Policy details areas where progress is needed, totaling 25 in all. These areas generally target economic empowerment and financial security, adult learning, support for informal careers, long-term care, intergenerational solidarity and volunteerism, age-friendly and dementia-friendly communities and services, and health. To support these themes, the Policy offers a total of 75 policy recommendations. The recommendations detailed in the Policy are intentionally broad, in order to guide the direction of future policies, programs, and activities.

Execution & Achievements: While the recommendations laid out in the National Strategic Policy were not commitments, community services were greatly expanded, according to Malta’s latest National Report on its implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, published in 2021. A government program, Active Ageing and Community Care, offers several community services including geriatric care, telehealth, mental health services, respite care, dementia intervention teams, handyman services, and age-friendly public bus transportation, called the Silver-T service. The monitoring procedure guiding the National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing aligns itself with three of four key indicators laid out in the Active Aging Index, namely employment, participation in society, and independent living.

Current Status & References: The Policy was current through 2020. Public consultation for a new National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing for the years 2021–2027 is underway. The updated policy will focus particularly on social isolation, as well as equity and diversity. Other action areas will include volunteerism and intergenerational contact, lifelong learning, financial security, age-friendly environments, individual empowerment, and disease prevention. For more information, see this website to view the Policy. 

  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • Voice and Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Malta, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: National Commission for Active Ageing, Ministry for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing

Timeframe: 2014–2020

Total population: 525,285 (2020)
Older population: 20.8 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 25.3 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $27,884.60 (2020)

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Americas

Master Plan For Aging - California

Context: The number of Californians over age 60 is expected to double by 2030, reaching 10.8 million and representing a quarter of the state’s entire population. Meeting the needs of these older adults, especially regarding housing, health, and long-term care, will be a massive challenge for California. Although California submits a state plan in compliance with the Older Americans Act of 1965 every four years, the Older Americans Act covers a limited range of subjects, including health, long-term care, and caregiver support. To meet the modern challenges of population aging, in 2019, California’s Governor signed an Executive Order calling for the creation of a “blueprint” for state and local government, the private sector, and philanthropic organizations to prepare for these dramatic demographic changes. This blueprint materialized in 2021 as the Master Plan for Aging.

Plan Development: The Master Plan’s development was informed by extensive engagement with communities and stakeholders through surveys, town hall meetings, pledges, webinars, and community roundtables that California’s Department of Aging held between September 2019 and October 2020. The Executive Order also called for the creation of a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), which brought together 78 health care providers, health plans, employers, academics, researchers, and community-based organizations to provide policy recommendations and public comment. The SAC notably created an Equity Working Group to ensure that the plan addressed life-long disparities and inequities faced by people of color and LGBTQ+ Californians. Public and stakeholder input was considered by the state government’s Cabinet Working Group, which represented all ten Cabinet departments and other Executive offices in the development of the plan. 

Principles & Goals: The California Master Plan’s development, goals, and implementation are substantive and robust. The Master Plan outlines five goals around housing, health, inclusion, caregiving, and economic security. Each of these goals is further broken down into “strategies,” which include unique aging policy considerations, such as disaster risk reduction and climate change within the plan’s housing goal. The role of these supporting strategies is to provide flexible paths for state and local governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and community-based organizations to achieve goals.

Execution & Achievements: To accelerate progress toward these goals, California developed over 100 Action-Ready Initiatives. These Initiatives have already been adopted by state agencies or local governments and are ready for implementation. Each Initiative identifies the government agencies responsible for leading its execution. To begin implementation, California’s Enacted Budget for Fiscal Year 2021–2022 included 3.8 billion USD to fund new investments to advance the Master Plan for Aging, which is a significant level of funding for a subnational plan, although a relatively small investment for an economy of California’s size ($3.6 trillion USD). In January 2022, California released its first annual report on the plan’s implementation. Leaders have appointed the state’s first Senior Advisor on Aging, Disability, and Alzheimer’s and are investing billions into 132 programs and initiatives to make the state more aging-friendly. Progress toward reaching each goal is monitored on the data dashboard. Reports on the plan’s implementation are published annually—few plans feature similar robust dashboards with accessible data. 

Current Status & References: The Annual Report identified progress on many initiatives outlined in the original plan. For more information, see this website to view the Master Plan. 

  • Equity and Diversity
    Older women; racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; displaced peoples; persons with disabilities; LGBTQ persons; indigenous peoples; and people in specific settings, such as fragile states, may face disadvantages or discrimination, which can prevent them from accessing social and health services. This plan acknowledges inequities among disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and combats health and economic disparities.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • COVID-19
    This plan addresses the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. For aging plans developed after 2020, policymakers should consider the gaps in social protection and global health systems among older adults that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prepare for future disease outbreaks.
  • Voice and Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: California, United States, Subnational

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Department of Aging

Timeframe: 2021-2030

Total population: 39.5 million (2020)
Older Population: 14.8 percent of population over 65 (2020)
Projections: 19 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $70,192.0 (2020)

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Americas

National Health Plan For Older People And Action Plan - Chile

Context: People over the age of 65 account for 11.9 percent of Chile’s total population, and the share of older adults is expected to double by 2050. Chile has a positive history of focusing on older persons, particularly through the National Service for Older People (SENAMA), which was established in the 1980s under the Ministry of Social Development. While many Chilean older adults are choosing to live independently, a 2021 report from Pan American Health Organization found that most older people in Chile are not considered fully healthy for the final ten years of their lives. There are also some gaps in care for older persons, including a rapid reduction in influenza vaccine coverage among older persons from 98 percent in 2010 to 68 percent in 2019. Chile also lacks geriatrician coverage, with one geriatrician for every 48,000 older persons as of 2018, compared to one for every 15,000 older persons in Brazil and one for every 25,000 older persons in Mexico.  

Plan Development: The National Health Plan builds on three key initiatives—the Comprehensive Positive Aging Policy (2015–2025), the National Health Strategy (2011–2020), and the Older Adult Plan (2018–2022)—that all “focused on achieving a kinder and fairer Chile for older people.” The Comprehensive Positive Aging Policy and the National Health Strategy will be updated with a new proposal for the decade. Another relevant plan that, along with the National Health Plan, will make up the 2020’s framework for addressing aging includes the Strategic Aging Orientation 2021–2030, which was launched in March 2022.

Principles & Goals: The National Health Plan focuses on providing adequate access to and quality of health and social services for older persons, with a particular emphasis on expanding primary health care. The National Health Plan identifies several approaches to elder care, such as life-course, gender-sensitive, and person-centered care approaches, that informed its development. The Plan also highlights the need to provide comprehensive, cohesive health care for older people, including training more geriatricians and expanding the use of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (VCI), which is a multidimensional and standardized patient health survey conducted by geriatricians. The National Health Plan identifies six key strategies: 1) education, promotion, and prevention; 2) service provision; 3) strengthening comprehensive health care for older people; 4) strengthening information systems; 5) regulation and supervision; and 6) sufficient funding. Finally, the Plan identifies a number of implementation initiatives. These include strengthening the National Institute of Geriatrics (INGER), improving access to digital health care for older persons, widely immunizing older people against influenza and COVID-19, and supporting mental health during the pandemic through a Ministry of Health program called SaludableMente.

Execution & Achievements: The National Health Plan was recently released, and a follow-up report about implementation has not yet been published. However, several initiatives are highlighted as having made major progress in recent years, including a 50 percent increase in the number of geriatric physicians nationwide, the building of more Acute Geriatric Units in regional hospitals, and the implementation of the 2019 National Drug Policy through the National Drugs Strategy (2021–2030), which aims to improve access to, and reduce costs of, critical medicines. Additionally, SENAMA recently launched a document, titled the Strategic Aging Orientation 2021–2030, that will identify and attempt to close gaps in Chile’s legal and policy framework around aging.

Current Status & References: The National Health Plan was released in September 2021 and is current through 2030. For more information, see this website to view the Plan. 

  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • COVID-19
    This plan addresses the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. For aging plans developed after 2020, policymakers should consider the gaps in social protection and global health systems among older adults that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prepare for future disease outbreaks.

Jurisdiction: Chile, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Office of Health for Older People, Ministry of Health

Timeframe: 2020–2030

Total population: 19.1 million (2020)
Older Population: 11.9 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 12.2 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $13,231.70 (2020)

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Americas

Uruguay’s Second National Plan On Aging And Old Age: 2016-2019

Context: Uruguay has one of Latin America’s oldest populations, with almost 20 percent of its population over age 60, and maintains a high standard of care for older persons. Uruguay stands out among Latin American countries for its focus on social protection and human rights. Older persons age 64 and older have the lowest level of poverty among the total population in Uruguay, at 8.8 percent in 2021. The government has implemented a strong institutional framework to improve the lives and health of older persons that includes key institutions such as the National Integrated Care System (SNIC) and the National Institute for Older Persons (INMAYORES). Much of this institutional framework has been developed since 2005, when the Ministry of Social Development was established. Additionally, Uruguay was the first country to ratify the Inter-American Convention on the Protection of the Human Rights of Older Persons and has submitted two national plans to support its commitment, most recently the Second National Plan on Aging and Old Age: 2016–2019.

Plan Development: The National Plan’s development process began with an extensive consultation with civil society groups, especially with the National Network of Organizations for Older Persons (REDAM). This cooperation between the government and civil society actors also created effective channels for monitoring the plan’s progress. Older persons were also consulted about what they hoped to improve in Uruguay’s system of care. Numerous other organizations and government bodies, including academic institutions that specialize in gerontology, Uruguay’s Health Ministry, and the Bank of Social Security, were consulted when developing the National Plan.

Principles & Goals: The key goal of the National Plan is to facilitate older persons’ dignified and full lives and participation in society by promoting healthy lifestyles and physical and mental health. The National Plan takes a rights-based approach and furthers commitments that Uruguay made in ratifying the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons. The Plan lays out six key goals, which promote: 1) equality and dignity for all; 2) physical security and autonomy; 3) economic security and development; 4) support for older adults who serve as caregivers; 5) participation and integration of older persons into society; and 6) institutional strengthening. Each of the goals is supported by several specific results and actions that are required for its implementation, along with clear assignments of responsible ministries or institutions. However, the Plan does not include specific accountability mechanisms or budgets for implementation.

Execution & Achievements: In 2018, indicators were developed to monitor implementation toward the targets laid out in the Plan. Experts developing the indicators reached out to relevant ministries and institutions involved in developing the National Plan and wrote a public progress report on implementation actions. Additionally, the progress report highlighted how approaches to supporting aging differ among Uruguay’s institutions and mentioned gaps in protection for older persons. A 2019 report from the office of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons to the Human Rights Council, noted that while Uruguay has made many commitments to protect and care for older persons, a lack of (particularly financial) resources has hindered implementation.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the Second National Plan. As of April 2022, the government has not updated the Plan or published a Third National Plan. The public progress report on implementation is not currently available online.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Uruguay, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: National Secretary of Childhood, Adolescence and Family in the Ministry of Social Development of Argentina

Timeframe: 2012–2015

Total population: 3.5 million (2020)
Older Population: 14.9 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 17.2 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $15,438.40 (2020)

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Eastern Mediterranean

National Strategy For Senior Citizens - Jordan

Context: Jordan is considered a regional leader in health care provision and devotes 9 percent of its nearly $44 billion GDP to health care, which is high compared to other countries in the region. Before the advent of COVID-19, Jordan received roughly 250,000 annual medical tourists per year, which accounted for a high percentage of tourist revenue. Jordan has a relatively young population, with people over the age of 65 constituting roughly 3.9 percent of the population of 10.2 million. However, old adults are among the most vulnerable in the country, facing a high risk of poverty, disease, and isolation. These trends are, in part, a result of a significant influx of refugees from nearby Syria. To address the vulnerability of older adults and prepare for further population aging, as well as to strengthen its health system, Jordan developed the National Strategy for Senior Citizens in 2018.

Plan Development: The National Council of Family Affairs was established by a Royal decree in 2001 in order to strengthen support for women, children, and the elderly, and has released two National Strategies for Senior Citizens, the first of which was published in 2008. The current National Strategy is an updated version of the previous 2008 Strategy and builds on numerous other pieces of legislation that explicitly protect older persons, including the National Strategy for the Jordanian Family from 2005 and the Jordanian Constitution. The Strategy’s development process incorporated the opinions and needs of people across Jordan, including the elderly, by conducting community focus groups. The National Follow-up Committee on the Implementation of the National Strategy for Senior Citizens then wrote a “baseline study” that analyzed the needs of older persons, based on information derived from the community focus groups and associated research.

Principles & Goals: The National Strategy is based in part on the baseline study, which was released in 2015. The baseline study identified several gaps and themes through a SWOT analysis conducted by the National Follow-up Committee on the Implementation of the National Strategy for Senior Citizens, which the National Strategy later prioritized. The National Strategy aims to improve life for older adults and all Jordanians across three pillars, by 1) engaging the elderly in Jordan’s development process and encouraging them to take part in decision-making across all levels, as well as generally improving living conditions for older persons; 2) providing preventative and curative health services; and 3) providing supportive environments for older persons that include accessible infrastructure, sufficient care homes and social services, and protection from violence and ageism. Each pillar identifies priority areas for actions as well as specific implementation measures and initiatives. The National Strategy also calls for the government to develop a legislative and regulatory enabling environment that considers the needs of the elderly, to help achieve the targets and goals defined in the National Strategy.   

Execution & Achievements: Prior to the National Strategy’s release in 2018, Jordan focused on improving the quality of and access to home health care, through the National Home Healthcare Initiative Project. The project has trained over 300 health care professionals, formalized the country’s home health care system, increased home care visits by 66 percent in one year, and expanded to over 28 medical facilities since its inception in 2017. The National Strategy aims to continue and expand upon these achievements. However, there is little evidence that specific actions have been taken to achieve the goals laid out in the National Strategy, nor is there evidence of significant legislative and regulatory actions to create an enabling environment for older persons in Jordan.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the National Strategy. Jordan's National Strategy is current through 2022. Additional context for the Strategy can be found here [an article describing the process behind the Strategy’s development, which was published on the National Council for Family Affairs’ website in 2018] and here [a 2020 report by HelpAge International on care and protection of older people in Jordan].

  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Jordan, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: National Council of Family Affairs

Timeframe: 2018–2022

Total population: 10.2 million (2020)
Older Population: 3.9 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 5.6 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $4,282.80 (2020)

More info on the plan

Eastern Mediterranean

National Strategy For Older Persons - Lebanon

Context: Lebanon is experiencing the fastest population aging among Arab countries, with demographic expectations indicating that about 23 percent of the country’s population will be over the age of 65 by 2050. While Lebanon is fast becoming an aged society, older people are struggling to meet basic needs and often face age discrimination, according to a joint study by the American University of Beirut and the United Nations Economic Commission for Western Asia. In addition, Lebanon, similarly to other countries in the Middle East, has a long history of internal displacement, conflict, and political strife. As a result, Lebanon incorporated these dynamics into its National Strategy for Older Persons (2020–2030).

Plan Development: The National Strategy for Older Persons was drawn from a combination of national reports and surveys, scientific research, and other countries’ aging plans (Jordan, Sudan, Austria, Malta, Singapore, and New Zealand). International and regional frameworks, including the Arab Strategy for Older Persons and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, also served as inspiration for the Strategy. Developers of the Strategy held consultations with stakeholders and meetings with experts and older people. 

Principles & Goals: The Strategy’s framework centers on six interrelated axes: 1) physical and mental health; 2) economic and social safety; 3) social participation; 4) intergenerational solidarity; 5) age-friendly environments; and 6) protection from violence and conflict. Under each of the axes, strategic objectives and intervention areas are recommended. To support action on each of these axes, the Strategy proposes four mechanisms of intervention to induce change. These mechanisms are policies and legislation, institutional arrangements and governance, capacity building and awareness-raising, and research. The Strategy names human rights, life-course approach, shared responsibility, and positive conceptions of aging as the guiding principles in the development and implementation of its goals. 

Execution & Achievements: The Strategy does not establish a budget or monitoring and evaluation framework, but the government is expected to publish a multi-sectoral action plan. However, as of April 2022, none of these steps have taken place.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the National Strategy. The National Strategy is current through 2030.

  • COVID-19
    This plan addresses the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. For aging plans developed after 2020, policymakers should consider the gaps in social protection and global health systems among older adults that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prepare for future disease outbreaks.
  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Lebanon, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

Timeframe: 2020–2030

Total population: 6.8 million (2020)
Older Population: 7.3 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 12.0 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $4,649.50 (2020)

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Africa

National Policy On Older Persons - Malawi

Context: The population of Malawi is young and growing, with persons over age 65 constituting only 2.6 percent of the total population. While population aging is likely many decades away, significant gains in life expectancy have increased the absolute number of older people. Older people tend to be vulnerable in Malawian society, experiencing high rates of poverty and malnutrition. To address the growing number of vulnerable older persons, the government passed the National Policy for Older Persons in 2016. 

Plan Development: The Policy’s development relied upon reviews and surveys regarding the situation of older persons in Malawi, acknowledging the overall poor quality of life among older Malawians. Additionally, a consultation of stakeholders was reportedly conducted, and, according to a Malawian civil society leader from a group representing older adults, a thorough consultation with older men and women and other stakeholders across the country was held. 

Principles & Goals: The Policy establishes six priority areas for action, which generally align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and international aging frameworks. These areas are 1) the promotion and protection of older persons’ rights; 2) access to health, water, and sanitation services; 3) food security; 4) income security; 5) housing; 6) research and geriatric training. Each of Malawi’s National Policy priority areas establishes objectives and corresponding strategies that detail specific policy actions. 

Execution & Achievements: The Policy’s implementation plan identifies timelines as well as public and private sector actors’ responsibility for each strategy. It also establishes a monitoring and evaluation plan, which provides outputs for each objective, indicators to track progress, and sources of verification (i.e., reports), with a commitment to publish annual progress reviews. However, according to an expert from a Malawian civil society organization, little progress has been made due to gaps in resourcing and budget.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the National Policy. The government is reportedly in the process of developing an Older Persons’ Act, according to the Commonwealth Foundation, which is an intergovernmental organization that reports to governments on civil society activities across Commonwealth countries (including Malawi). This legislation is expected to improve the implementation of the National Policy for Older Persons. Key provisions will focus on income security in the form of grants and pensions, the safeguarding of rights, and equal access to services.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Malawi, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare

Timeframe: 2016–2021

Total population: 19.1 million (2020)
Older Population: 2.6 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 2.8 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $636.80 (2020)

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Western Pacific

Action Plan For Successful Ageing - Singapore

Context: Singapore is a rapidly aging society. By 2030, an estimated one in four Singaporeans will be age 65 or older. Given these drastic demographic shifts, Singapore was an early adopter of healthy aging policies, establishing its first national policy on aging in 1999. Its latest national policy, the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, was announced in 2015.

Plan Development: In developing the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, the Ministerial Committee on Ageing engaged with more than 4,000 Singaporeans of various ages to discuss positive aging. Public opinion was explored through focus group discussions and in-person and online consultations that took place between June 2014 and May 2015. The Committee also consulted unions and trade associations, as well as various religious and ethnic groups.

Principles & Goals: The Ministerial Committee on Ageing intended the Action Plan for Successful Ageing to create opportunities for individuals of all ages and foster a supportive community and country for older adults. The Action Plan covers over 70 initiatives in the following 10 areas: employability, health and wellness, senior learning, senior volunteerism, community befriending, intergenerational harmony, aged care, active aging and assisted living, transport infrastructure, and research. 

Execution & Achievements: The Action Plan’s initiatives are specific, often including timelines and measurable outcome targets, such as a target to increase home-based care by 50 percent and community-based care by 100 percent by 2020. In 2017, the Ministerial Committee on Ageing launched the “I Feel Young SG” campaign to promote the Action Plan and facilitate active aging, offering resources for older adults and tracking policy and program developments related to aging. Significant progress has been made towards nearly every target laid out in the plan, with several programs created for implementation. One newly implemented program, the National Seniors’ Health Programme, established in 2015, has already met its goal of reaching 400,000 seniors through health talks and exercise programs by 2020. Other significant programs created at the direction of the Action Plan include Active Ageing Hubs and Senior Activity Centers, which are neighborhood drop-in centers for seniors, and the National Silver Academy, which provides seniors with learning opportunities and has offered more than 1,000 courses since 2018. Additionally, nine Active Ageing Hubs have been built, reaching about 20 percent of older adults in Singapore. These programs, alongside age-friendly housing and transportation infrastructure, have cemented Singapore as one of the world’s most age-friendly environments. While precise targets with timelines have aided implementation, progress as a whole is difficult to track due to the absence of public monitoring and evaluation frameworks for the Action Plan overall.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the Action Plan. Singapore is expected to launch an updated Action Plan in 2022.

  • Budget
    Successful implementation of healthy plans requires sufficient funding. This plan or relevant supporting documents provide information that indicates financial resources were allocated to execute the plan’s recommendations.
  • COVID-19
    This plan addresses the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. For aging plans developed after 2020, policymakers should consider the gaps in social protection and global health systems among older adults that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prepare for future disease outbreaks.
  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Singapore, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Ministerial Committee on Ageing

Timeframe: 2015–2030

Total population: 5.7 million (2020)
Older Population: 12.4 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 22.5 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: Current USD $59797.80 (2020)

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Western Pacific

Better Later Life Strategy - New Zealand

Context: By 2034, over a fifth—or around 1.2 million people—of New Zealand’s population will be age 65 or over. In preparation for shifting demographics, New Zealand began developing a national strategy to mainstream aging concerns across government agencies and society at large through the 2001 Positive Ageing Strategy. In 2019, the Office for Seniors released a successor to this plan, the Better Later Life Strategy.

Plan Development: The latest Strategy was developed in 2018 drawing on feedback from nationwide consultations, written submissions, online surveys, social media, and local meetings. Following the drafting process, drafts of the strategy were released for public comment in 2019. In addition to utilizing participatory processes, it was developed using research commissioned as part of the Positive Ageing Strategy. Finally, the Strategy deliberately aligns with the World Health Organization’s Decade of Action on Healthy Ageing.

Principles & Goals: The Better Later Life Strategy seeks to ensure that “older New Zealanders lead valued, connected, and fulfilling lives.” Underpinning the Strategy are a series of guiding principles: dignity, safety, diversity, and collective responsibility. The Strategy takes an explicit whole-of-life approach and also pays specific attention to the island’s indigenous people, the Maori, who experience lower life expectancies than other racial and ethnic groups in New Zealand. The Strategy identifies five key areas for action: financial security and economic participation, health promotion and access to services, housing, social connection and participation, and accessible environments. Within each area, the Strategy outlines more specific targets and the broad steps necessary to achieve them. 

Execution & Achievements: The Strategy identifies ten initial actions within these five key areas to kick off implementation, including achieving financial security and economic participation, promoting healthy aging, and making the built environment accessible for older persons. Each action is assigned to a responsible agency, mainstreaming the issue of aging across the government. Many of these initial actions already had funding allocated from the outset and are ongoing programs. For example, the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 was recently reformed to strengthen renters’ rights in New Zealand against unjustified eviction. This reform was identified as an initial action to support the goal of creating diverse housing choices and options. Another example of success around an initial action is the creation of the Office of Seniors’ Digital Literacy Training program, which began in 2020 with the goal of improving digital literacy among 4,700 older people. This program is directly related to the Strategy’s goal of enhancing opportunities for participation and social connection. The program won an international education award in the 2021 IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards.

In addition to budgeting, the Strategy called for the development of indicators to monitor and evaluate outcomes. Initial indicators have already been developed, with many using data from across multiple government agencies. However, certain indicators lacked existing data sources, requiring government agencies to collect additional data to track certain outcomes. Indicators will be updated and expanded every two years when the Office of Seniors publishes a report on progress toward the strategy’s goals. Since 2020, the Office for Seniors has added additional COVID-19 indicators to track the impact of the pandemic on older people.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the Strategy. In 2021, the Office for Seniors released an Action Plan for 2021–2024, which focuses on an additional 25 actions that will deliver advances in employment, housing, and digital inclusion for older New Zealanders. These additional actions will be implemented alongside the 10 initial actions published in the Strategy. To support the new Action Plan, Parliament allocated another $1.965 million over the next four years to enable the Office for Seniors to continue implementing the Strategy. In 2022, outcome indicators will be updated to reflect the Strategy’s latest priorities as well as track these 25 actions, and an “Outcomes” report will be published in 2023. For more information about the Strategy, see this website.

  • Equity and Diversity
    Older women; racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; displaced peoples; persons with disabilities; LGBTQ persons; indigenous peoples; and people in specific settings, such as fragile states, may face disadvantages or discrimination, which can prevent them from accessing social and health services. This plan acknowledges inequities among disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and combats health and economic disparities.
  • Budget
    Successful implementation of healthy plans requires sufficient funding. This plan or relevant supporting documents provide information that indicates financial resources were allocated to execute the plan’s recommendations.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.
  • COVID-19
    This plan addresses the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults. For aging plans developed after 2020, policymakers should consider the gaps in social protection and global health systems among older adults that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prepare for future disease outbreaks.

Jurisdiction: New Zealand, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Office for Seniors

Timeframe: 2019–2034

Total population: 5.1 million (2020)
Older Population: 16.0 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 20.5 percent of the population will be  over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $41,441.50 (2020)

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Western Pacific

National Ageing Policy: 2017–2030 - Cambodia

Context: While Cambodia has a lower proportion of older persons than most other Western Pacific countries, this share is increasing rapidly. According to the 2019 national census, 8.9 percent of the total population is age 60 or over, and this is expected to climb to 30 percent by 2070, similar to the population structure seen now in Japan and Italy. According to the National Ageing Policy, Cambodian culture emphasizes the right of older persons to be taken care of by their adult offspring as they age, which is codified in the Cambodian Constitution. These so-called filial support laws are considered controversial among some human rights organizations.

Plan Development: In light of the country’s changing demographic structure, the Royal Government created the National Ageing Policy: 2017–2030. The Policy builds upon and updates Cambodia’s 2003 National Plan for the Elderly, which is based on principles outlined in the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, as well as several other national policies and plans, including the Rectangular Strategy–Phase III and National Strategic Development Plan, 2014–2018.

Principles & Goals: The Policy takes a life-course approach, in that its vision statement mentions facilitating older persons’ dignity and freedom of choice, as well as assisting younger generations in preparing for healthy aging. The Policy has three main goals: 1) to eliminate any age-based discrimination around older persons’ enjoyment of their rights; 2) to ensure gender equality among older persons, as older women are both more numerous and more vulnerable than older men; and 3) to encourage strong inter-generational relations and family structures. These three focus areas were chosen with the recognition that they would help create enabling environments for older persons and incorporate the needs of older persons into Cambodia’s development process, according to the Policy. The Policy is the only plan in this database to explicitly name gender equality as one of its key goals, although other plans mention viewing aging through a gender lens. The Policy has nine priorities, which include securing safe and accessible living arrangements, supporting intergenerational relationship-building, and encouraging disaster relief management organizations to consider the elder population in their plans.

Execution & Achievements: Thirty-two ministries, government bodies, and non-governmental organizations were named as partners in implementing the Policy, and many of the named organizations collaborated to develop the Three-Year Action Plan 2018–2020, which defines implementation actions. The Action Plan lays out numerous specific, concrete objectives for each of the nine priorities, and defines the annual budget necessary to achieve each objective. One of these objectives, for example, is to support the establishment of further Older People’s Associations across Cambodia and enhance their commitment to and role in promoting healthy aging. The Policy states that Older People’s Associations are critical to the effective implementation of the policy. These objectives can then be used for monitoring and evaluation activities, which are led by the Secretariat for the Cambodia National Committee for Older People, in the Department of Older People Welfare of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the National Ageing Policy, which is current through 2030. The Three-Year Action Plan 2018–2020, which provides information on the implementation process for the Plan, is available here. According to Cambodian news sources, as well as an expert consulted during this database’s development process, the Royal Government and United Nations Development Programme are in the process of finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding to create a second Three-Year Action Plan, which will be current until 2024.  

  • Monitoring and Evaluation/Data
    Developing measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems, including the development of indicators and the collection of data, is critical to tracking progress toward a plan’s healthy aging goals. This plan provides a framework to monitor and evaluate its implementation and performance.

Jurisdiction: Cambodia, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Cambodia National Committee for Older People in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation

Timeframe: 2017–2030

Total population: 16.7 million (2020)
Older Population: 8.9 percent of population over 60 (2019)
Projections: 30 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2070
GDP per capita: USD $1,543.70 (2020)

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Southeast Asia

Senior Citizens Act, 2063 - Nepal

Context: While the total share of seniors in Nepal is low, compared to many other countries, Nepal has experienced accelerated population aging since 2000. In 1960, 2.5 percent of Nepal’s population was over 65 years old, which slowly rose to 3.7 percent by 2000 and then shot up to 5.8 percent between 2000 and 2020. Nepal’s population has also  experienced a dramatic rise in life expectancy—in 1960, the average lifespan was 35.5 years, which doubled to 70.8 years by 2020 and may continue to rise to a peak of around 80 years of age throughout the 21st century.

Plan Development: The Senior Citizens’ Act was developed by Nepal’s Parliament in 2006 to promote the social protection of seniors. According to an expert on aging in Nepal consulted while creating this database, Nepal’s government assigned a group of experts from the Law Commission to develop the Senior Citizen’s, 2063. The team members first attended several international conferences on aging to understand how other countries had prepared their policies or laws on aging. Once a draft of the Act was developed, the team then consulted with older persons, professionals who work closely with elderly people (such as those who work in nursing homes), and other relevant experts to finalize the Act. The Senior Citizens’ Act 2063 is based on Nepal’s national calendar, which is 56 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar.

Principles & Goals: The Act details the legal and social protections and special provisions that people over the age of 60 are entitled to in Nepal. It mandates the establishment of several organizations, including senior citizens’ welfare committees, a senior citizen welfare fund, and long-term care and daycare centers. To avoid the risk of having older persons experience poverty—as 85 percent of older adults live in rural, developmentally poor places—the Act also stipulates that families are legally required to fund and care for senior relatives. Filial support laws are considered controversial among some human rights organizations globally, but they can fill gaps in care for older persons, especially in rural areas with limited governmental reach. 

Execution & Achievements: The Act has been amended several times through additional legislation. The Senior Citizens Rules, 2065 (2008) policy, for example, defines and expands the roles of senior citizens welfare committees, which were established by the Senior Citizens Act. The governmental ministry that oversees implementation of the Senior Citizen Act—formerly called the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare—was recently renamed the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens to signal that its focus had expanded to include the protection of older persons. The government also increased the Old Age Allowance from 3,000NPR (about $25) to 4,000NPR ($33) in 2021. The Old Age Allowance program provides unconditional cash transfers to older persons—in this case classified as persons over the age of 70, except for Dalits (those of the lowest caste) and residents of the underserved Karnali region, who can receive payments starting at age 60. Finally, the government has expanded the policy framework for older persons through policies such as the Geriatric Care Center Implementation Guideline, 2077 (2021).

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the Senior Citizens Act. The Senior Citizens Rules are available here.

  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Nepal, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens

Timeframe: Released in 2006

Total population: 29.1 million (2020)
Older Population: 5.8 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 7.1 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $1,155.10 (2020)

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Americas

National Plan For Older Persons - Argentina

Context: Argentina has one of the largest and fastest growing populations of older people in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, as of 2020, 15.7 percent of Argentina’s population of 45.4 million is over the age of 60. The percentage of older persons in Argentina is growing and is expected to reach 22 percent by 2050 and 34 percent by 2100. Argentina is currently experiencing a favorable demographic dividend, in that the working-age population is growing in proportion to dependent populations, such as older persons and children, which potentially allows the country time to plan for an aging population and use money derived from the larger working population to institute a robust care program. With this opportunity in mind, the government of Argentina adopted the National Plan for Older Persons in 2012.

Plan Development:  The National Plan was developed through a collaborative process that engaged national ministries, provincial and municipal councils, academics, specialists in gerontology, and councils that represented senior citizens, among other stakeholders. The Plan’s development process was carried out during 2011 and was spearheaded by the Ministry of Social Development to fulfill the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing’s national plans strategy.   

Principles & Goals: Building off previous policies developed since 2003—many of which focused on guaranteeing economic security through pensions and work—the current 2012 National Plan identifies three key areas on which to focus implementation efforts, each of which has several specific targets. The areas are: 1) including older persons in society by providing better access to formal employment, social security, cultural activities, and education; 2) promoting healthy aging through increased access to universal, legally-mandated physical and mental health care; and 3) developing enabling environments, which includes promoting adaptations to the physical environment, as well as increasing legal, social, and governmental support for older persons. Based on each region in the country’s specific needs and gaps, the National Plan specifies several regional targets and goals.

Execution & Achievements: The National Plan stipulates several goals, including training 50,000 home caregivers for the elderly and 750 gerontologists. The Plan also notes a goal of engaging with 100,000 people of all ages through the ​​Promotion of Good Treatment of the Elderly program, in order to dispel negative attitudes toward older persons and aging, and promote intergenerational goodwill. The Plan establishes monitoring and evaluation guidelines and appoints the Federal Council for the Elderly to take the lead in planning two yearly monitoring and evaluation meetings, one of the Federal Council’s Executive Committee and one of the plenary meetings. A major gap, however, is that the National Plan does not include information on budgeting for implementation.

Current Status & References: For more information, see this website to view the National Plan. While the National Plan ended in 2015—and it is unclear if or when a new or updated plan will be released—it serves as the foundation for Argentina’s continued support for older persons. Argentina launched its national efforts toward implementation of the UN’s Decade of Healthy Ageing in 2021, which will likely build on goals laid out in its National Plan, and the country will implement various programs in line with the Decade with Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) support between 2021 and 2030.

  • Voice & Engagement
    Meaningful engagement and empowerment of older persons are critical to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy aging policies. During the development of this plan, the government utilized participatory processes to engage and incorporate the perspectives of older adults or organizations that represent them. Processes that achieve these goals can include public consultations, social media outreach, public surveys, town hall meetings and forums, webinars, and community roundtables.

Jurisdiction: Argentina, National

Ministry Overseeing Implementation: National Secretary of Childhood, Adolescence and Family in the Ministry of Social Development of Argentina

Timeframe: 2012–2015

Total population: 45.4 million (2020)
Older Population: 11.2 percent of population over 65 (2019)
Projections: 12.7 percent of the population will be over age 65 by 2030
GDP per capita: USD $ 8,579.00 (2020)

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