ICAA—Global Pioneer in Active Aging—Applauds G20 as It Shines Spotlight on Importance of Promoting a Healthy and Active Aging Society

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By putting population aging prominently on the agenda for the first time in history, the G20 has opened the door for changing the conversation on how we age and how societies can maximize all that older citizens have to offer, the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) stated today. More than 70 percent of the world’s older population live in G20 member countries, with the number of people 65 and older climbing.

Colin Milner

The G20’s newly focused attention on the issue of population aging creates tremendous opportunity for reorganizing how societies age and will undoubtedly prove to be a pivotal moment for the active aging movement.

By putting population aging prominently on the agenda for the first time in history, the G20 has opened the door for changing the conversation on how we age and how societies can maximize all that older citizens have to offer, the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) stated today. More than 70 percent of the world’s older population live in G20 member countries, with the number of people 65 and older climbing.

Shrinking birth rates, greater longevity, skyrocketing healthcare costs, and chronic worker shortages in many countries across the globe are among the challenges that finally caught the attention of the G20, which recently met in Japan—the world’s fastest aging nation. But aging populations present more than simply challenges.

The G20’s newly focused attention on the issue of population aging creates tremendous opportunity for reorganizing how societies age and will undoubtedly prove to be a pivotal moment for the active aging movement.

In its declaration following the forum, the G20 specifically stated that it recognizes the importance of promoting a healthy and active aging society and that it will promote such a society through policy measures.

“As a thought leader and pioneer in active aging—dating all the way back to 2001 and before the World Health Organization set down its own policy framework for active aging—ICAA recognized both the challenges and opportunities that aging populations bring,” according to Colin Milner, ICAA founder and CEO. “The question I asked when I founded ICAA remains as relevant today as it ever was: ‘Why shouldn’t all our years be alive with purpose and brimming with healthful activity?’ After all, aging well benefits both the individual and society.”

But for people to age well and to remain vital, contributing members of their communities, we first must change the way society perceives and responds to its older population, which now outnumbers children under five. It’s time for the G20, policymakers around the globe, businesses, NGOs, the media, and all stakeholders to recognize that how we treat aging and adapt to it will shape the future of the entire world.

“Those of us who have been working on active aging issues for decades are thrilled to see this movement rise to the G20 and governmental level,” Milner continues. “We hope the G20’s heightened awareness of the importance of aging well will bring new energy and funding opportunities for organizations to implement effective active aging strategies.” As world demographics continue to shift, it will become increasingly important to tap into the full potential that older adults have to offer. With this in mind, ICAA created a framework called the “Nine Principles of Active Aging” for organizations serving older populations to follow in order to maximize well-being through the decades and across all aspects of life.

It’s worth noting as well that ICAA is on the forefront of moving organizations that serve older adults to a person-centered, wellness-based model that emphasizes quality of life and engaged living.

The ICAA Mission
Since 2001, ICAA has been leading the charge by connecting like-minded organizations and professionals determined to change society's perceptions of aging and improve the quality of life for older adults across all seven dimensions of wellness (emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental). ICAA supports these professionals with education, information, resources, and tools so they can achieve optimal success.

ICAA also started Active Aging Week, a grassroots initiative now recognized in five countries that celebrates, promotes, and supports healthy aging at the hometown level. The week serves as a reminder of the importance of engagement throughout all the years of life and that the world’s most successful communities leverage the strengths and skills of all their residents. Every generation has an important contribution to make in vibrant, strong societies.

ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, The Canadian Minister of State (Seniors) and (Finance), Canadian Special Senate Committee on Aging, an Informal Meeting of the European Union Ministers of Sport, and the European Commission.

ICAA continues to expand its knowledge and influence across multiple sectors, countries, and organizations—to the point where today, ICAA has the programs, the expertise, the facilities, and the workforce to champion the causes of active aging in a way no one else can. http://www.icaa.cc

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Colin Milner
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