Regional Workshop on Healthy Ageing Held in Tbilisi

The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) regional office of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, together with the offices of Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, this week held a two-day Workshop on Healthy and Active Ageing. Amid the symposium scheduled for November 28, the invited guests and international experts will discuss current demographic dynamics of population ageing and examine present-day practices for promoting health for the elderly. On November 9, training will be held on the effective organization and management of active and healthy ageing centers.

Population ageing, the inevitable increase in the share of older persons that results from the decline in fertility and improvement in survival that characterize the demographic transition, is seen throughout the world. The same pattern, at even greater pace, is now being witnessed in developing nations and countries in transition; it is expected that on a global scale the number of persons over 60 will triple from 600 million to almost 2 billion by mid-century. In percentages, the proportion of persons over 60 will double from 10% to 21% compared to the overall population. It is thus essential to prepare for the economic and social shifts associated with an ageing population to fulfil the pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that “no one will be left behind”.

Sometimes lost amid the attention paid to population ageing in Europe and North America is the fact that older populations in developing countries are typically growing more rapidly than those in the industrialized world. This puts the economies of developed countries to a huge test. Nevertheless, the social and cultural features in many of these societies offer opportunities to address some of the most critical elements of ageing, such as the physical and mental health of older persons, which is significantly affected by isolation and loneliness.

The workshop aims to share experiences of Eastern European and Central Asian countries and to foster joint approaches to advocating for active and healthy ageing and ensuring the well-being of the elderly population. Throughout the two-day workshop, the representatives of local governments, Ministries for Social Policy/Welfare and Centers for Social Welfare, Clinics for Out-patients (including mental health centers), NGOs and UNFPA COs from several countries in the East Europe and Central Asia Region discussed population changes and presented positive practices, learned about the HACs, and examined whether this modality can be replicated or adapted to their country’s concrete situation.

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