Healthy and active ageing
FORTUNATELY, EVERY DAY THERE IS MORE AND MORE AWARENESS ABOUT AGEING AS AN ADDITIONAL STAGE IN LIFE IN WHICH YOU CAN CONTINUE TO FULLY ENJOY NEW EMOTIONS.
Over the past years we have seen lots of reports, warnings and adverts: the world’s population is ageing. The estimations have been proven right and tendencies are being consolidated. You only have to look at the graph that shows the evolution of the elderly population over 65 years of age in Spain (the red line) that in 2014 represented 18% of the total population, that of the United Kingdom (in purple) with almost 17%, Italy (in green) with 21.5% or the most paradigmatic case of an ageing population, the yellow line which represents Japan, with more than 25% of its population above 65 in the same year.
Given the evident implications that this population dynamic has on the basis of how a country works (pensions, reduction of the active population, socio-health attention costs for chronic diseases), this subject has made itself a space amongst the priorities of the national and international political agendas. The European Commission has different initiatives, programmes and projects in place with funding dedicated to all types of subjects related to active and healthy ageing.
BUT, WHAT IS ACTIVE AGEING?
According to the World Health Organisation, it “is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.” “Active ageing allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need.”
Therefore, active ageing refers to groups of population, as we get older in a context of family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues; in a life cycle in which our needs and preferences evolve. The environments should also change to adapt to these new social interactions, and due to this, the term “age-friendly” is used to define areas, cities and even specific services aimed at the “Silver market”, a growing segment of the market defined for people over the age of 65 (or even from 55) in a more open conception of active ageing as a continuous process.
However, it also refers to people, to a personal decision on how to focus your life to live it the best way possible and for all the time that you can. These things start by yourself, in many cases with simple things on a day to day basis, which in turn help to change habits. Eat better and a little less, go up the stairs on foot, go for walks in the countryside or in a park, enjoy more time with friends and family, learn to dance well…or simply continue experimenting and trying new activities and hobbies.