Global Age Watch


Back in September 2015 the WHO published its World Report on Ageing and Health and I thought that this week we could have a look at what it says and the work of Help Age International. The WHO report highlights a number of issues:

  • People are living longer: health budgets and health systems need to adapt to this changing reality
  • Poor health does not need to dominate older age
  • It is not necessarily true that the older people get, the more money needs to be spent on health care, but more expenditure on social care is necessary
  • Old models of family care are not sustainable: state-provided care is essential
  • Although 70 does not yet appear to be the new 60, it could be in future

The Report shows that Governments all over the world need to adapt their policies and programmes to ensure they meet the health and care needs of all their populations throughout their life. That’s OK coming from a rich economy like ours, but what if you are from a poorer nation?

There is a website called the Global Age Watch Index which pools together all the information from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Bank, World Health Organization, International Labour Organization, UNESCO and the Gallup World Poll. This provides a fantastic resource which allows you to look at older people and how they live across the world and as a result allows some really fascinating comparisons. It also gives you some insight into how the WHO issues are being addressed in different countries. The Index website is at

The organisation that is responsible for creating the Index is also fascinating and the resources that exist on theirs site are really varied and interesting. To learn more about Help Age International go to:


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