Act Now to Make the Decade of Healthy Aging a Success, ICAA Urges Older-Adult Groups

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International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) is urging governments and private organizations to embrace and prepare for the Decade of Healthy Aging. In a Call to Action to its 10,000 member and other professional organizations, ICAA is recommending a series of action steps for groups working with older adults to help make the 2020-2030 decade a success.

CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports organizations and professionals that develop wellness environments and services for adults over 50.

Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging

International Council on Active Aging is urging governments and private organizations to embrace and prepare for the Decade of Healthy Aging.

International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) is urging governments and private organizations to embrace and prepare for the Decade of Healthy Aging.

In a Call to Action to its 10,000 member and other professional organizations, ICAA is recommending a series of action steps for groups working with older adults to help make the 2020-2030 decade a success.

The Decade of Healthy Aging 2020-2030 was created by the World Health Organization as a time to encourage every country to take action and implement the Global Strategy on Ageing and Health. The focus is on developing plans to maximize the functional ability of every person, to create age-friendly environments, and to align health systems with the needs of older populations.

If current trends continue, people 60 and older will grow in number from 901 million in 2015 to 2 billion by 2050, doubling the size of the talent pool of potential caregivers, volunteers, employees, personal and business mentors offering valuable guidance to their juniors. Whether their talent and experience actually get used will depend to a great extent on the groundwork laid by individuals and organizations today.

ICAA’s Call to Action is designed to accelerate the realization of its ongoing mission of promoting healthier, more active lifestyle options for the older-adult segment by improving the environments and services that help develop their functional abilities in the context of seven dimensions of wellness.

“The Decade of Healthy Aging emphasizes a new global model, where the definition of healthy aging is based in each individual’s functional ability—to live fully, with more ability than disability.

Expectations of longer lives are changing. The time has come for us to ignite that culture of change,” said Colin Milner, CEO of International Council on Active Aging.

ICAA Call to Action

International Council on Active Aging issues a call to action for its members and all professionals working with older adults to implement the goals of the global strategy on ageing and health by preparing for the Decade of Healthy Aging.

ICAA recommends 11 important action steps for organizations to start working on:

1. Commit to today’s (and future) older population(s) by creating an environment that promotes well-being and health along the lifespan.

2. Educate the public, older adults and colleagues about the potential of the aging population and the philosophy of active aging.

3. Implement interdisciplinary partnerships with the goal of enhancing the functional abilities of older adults by teaming with professionals in medicine, fitness, therapy, recreation and life engagement to coordinate approaches to maintaining abilities.

4. Educate older adults on how their lifestyle choices (diets, pursuits, physical, social and spiritual activities) affect their functioning and feelings of well-being.

5. Along with healthcare and physical activity, make evidence-based nutrition part of the physical dimension of wellness for preventing or managing chronic conditions while fueling functional ability.

6. Encourage older adults to participate to the best of their abilities in formal and informal opportunities within the dimensions of wellness.

7. Adapt indoor and outdoor environments to meet the needs and preferences of older adults.

8. Provide opportunities for older adults to serve as active-aging role models and educators and help defeat negative perceptions of aging.

9. Continue to bring the active-aging philosophy and programming to people in all stages of cognitive and physical functioning, including long-term care.

10. Partner with researchers and professors to encourage studies on programs that enhance the functional abilities of older adults.

11. Advise product manufacturers and service providers on how they can design, develop and deliver products and services designed for older adults of all ages and abilities.

The ICAA Call to Action is available on the ICAA website: http://www.icaa.cc/calltoaction.htm

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA, a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging - an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness - and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health and Healthy Living and Sport.

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Colin Milner
@colinmilner
since: 11/2008
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International Council on Active Aging
since: 03/2009
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International Council on Active Aging