Since 1990, October 1st has been the International Day of Older Persons!
Healthy ageing is particularly important for the European Region, as the proportion of people aged 65 and older is forecast to almost double between 2010 and 2050. For people living with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, living an active and balanced life is key to remain healthy while growing older. More importantly, the key to ensuring older people living with diabetes a high quality of life is giving them support to manage their conditions.
Healthy ageing is defined as developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age. As Europe is becoming an ageing continent, we must reconsider our relationship with age. A better life expectancy is one of the most remarkable achievements of modern societies. However, it is critical that living longer goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a high quality of life.
The prevalence of diabetes in people older than 65 years is double that of those under the age of 65 (20%), equating to 31 million people.
For people living with diabetes, healthy ageing requires uninterrupted access to the required medicines and integrated care, supported by ongoing self-management, as well as regular screening for potential life-disabling diabetes-related complications and the options for remaining physically active. Memory lapses, poor hearing, or declining eyesight may impair people living with diabetes’ ability to manage the condition and the right social and healthcare frameworks must be put in place to address this.
This can only be achieved within a supportive health-enabling environment and a transformation of the diabetes care delivery models. IDF Europe believes that putting people at the heart of European policies to ensure a person-centred and outcome-based health approach is a benefit for the whole of society.
We ask that all national authorities adopt a health-in-all policies approach and ensure that older populations are placed at the centre of prevention, health promotion and care policies.