Global report stresses the need for life enrichment for the elderly

The release of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) ageing and health report has highlighted the need for quality of life for the elderly.

While the report stated that life expectancy has risen around the world, the key concern for professionals employed in aged care is providing services to enrich their retirement years. This is an especially critical concern for the disadvantaged members of society, a key area of focus for aged care employment.  

"We need to ensure these extra years are healthy, meaningful and dignified," said Director-General of WHO Margaret Chan.

"Achieving this will not just be good for older people, it will be good for society as a whole."

Australia is preparing for an ageing population.Australia is preparing for an ageing population.

By 2050, the population of those over 65 is expected to double globally, increasing the urgency for a shift in perceptions of this group and ageing in general. Rather than dismissing the elderly based on negative stereotypes, communities will need to band together to ensure those over 65 have a voice. 

Australia to action new measures

To encourage a better level of communication between the elderly and their care-givers, Benetas and FMC Mediation and Counselling Victoria have partnered together to release a new mediation programme. As reported in a October 9 Ageing Agenda article, the initiative aims to resolve conflicts between family members regarding post-retirement care options before they are escalated to legal action.

New flexible mediation sessions will give the elderly the chance to have their wishes actively advocated.

Through the programme, FMC Mediation and Counselling Victoria Manager Jenni Dickson is hopeful that the flexible mediation sessions will give the elderly the chance to have their wishes actively advocated. This will also ensure that senior citizens will be placed in a system that is the best fit possible for their needs. 

On a national scale, Benetas has welcomed the appointment of a new Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley. As the previous Federal Government had left the position unfilled, Benetas stated that it is excited to see a new direction for elderly care.

"We need to do everything we can as a community to ensure older people, particularly those who may be socially and economically disadvantaged, have access to the important healthcare services they need to enjoy a positive experience of ageing," said CEO Sandra Hills. 

As life expectancy and the proportion of elderly residents continues to grow, new initiatives and polices will be vital in maintaining a high quality of life for this group. Aged care professionals will play an important role in the ongoing developments in Australia.