World Health Day is coming up on 7 April 2012. Aging and health is this year’s special theme, providing an opportunity for organisations and individuals worldwide to showcase solutions to population ageing.  As we frequently mention on this blog the world is rapidly ageing, and less developed countries are seeing the fastest change. We are currently experiencing a window of opportunity to establish social and health supports for an ageing population before the strength of such systems will be tested.

2012 marks the 10the anniversary of the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA). The plan is a resource for policy-makers, and suggests ways for governments, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders to re-frame the conversation around ageing.

It’s important to remember that elders possess a world of knowledge and are important contributors to social life and societal stability. Organisations, cities, communities and individuals are invited to celebrate in 2012 the contribution of older women and men on World Health Day through events and other activities.  Making cities and communities age-friendly is one of the most effective policy approaches for responding to demographic ageing. Cities and communities wishing to become more age-friendly can take part in the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

Does your organization plan to put out a call to action in support of World Health Day? The World Health Organization is recommending calls to action be issued around the topics of healthy active lifestyles across the lifespan, the creation of age friendly environments, and creating better understanding of elders needs among health care providers.

Photo courtesy lukaszduleba