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65th World Health Assembly cites noncommunicable diseases and aging among "biggest challenges and opportunities facing public health today"
VANCOUVER--Last week, close to 3,000 health ministers and senior health officials at the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva highlighted "strengthening...policies to promote active aging" as a key resolution in the effort to ensure optimal health and wellbeing for older adults throughout the world. That resolution, which comes just weeks before the World Congress on Active Ageing in Scotland, "demonstrates the global spread of the concept ICAA embraced when it was founded over a decade ago," says Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging.
"The World Health Organization's commitment to active aging as a priority platform for public health is heartening," Milner continues. "We started ICAA with idea that active aging is the solution to improving quality of life for older adults and we have not wavered in our efforts to build partnerships and provide resources to champion that goal. Through our ongoing leadership and participation in global initiatives, we will support WHO's efforts to embed active aging in health-promotion policies throughout the world." ICAA's current campaigns to promote active aging include the Changing the Way We Age® Campaign (http://www.changingthewayweage.com) and the annual Active Aging week.
Other noncommunicable-diseases (NCD) resolutions passed by the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, include: the development of a global monitoring framework for the prevention and control of NCDs; a global target of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases by 2025; and building partnerships to prevent premature deaths and to reduce exposure to risk factors for NCDs, mainly tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
"The concept of active aging includes multiple wellness dimensions— physical, intellectual, emotional, social, vocational, spiritual and environmental—and all ages, Milner emphasized. "Taken together, the resolution to promote active aging and the resolutions to prevent and control NCDs place the interests of older adults, regardless of abilities or circumstances, on the front burner of public-health efforts worldwide."
About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
The International Council on Active Aging® is the professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry. ICAA 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 as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness (i.e., physical, social, environmental, vocational, intellectual, emotional and spiritual)—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 (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, European Commission, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.
ICAA launched the Changing the Way We Age® Campaign (http://www.changingthewayweage.com) as part of the organization’s efforts to change perceptions of aging and overturn ageist stereotypes.
Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
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