a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - PAHO has made healthy aging a priority for this World Health Day

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PAHO Healthy Ageing Fact SheetPAHO has made healthy aging a priority for this World Health Day. The Americas is now home to the most rapidly aging population in the world and by 2020, will have 200 million older adults (50% of which will be living in LAC). As a result, the region will face growing challenges regarding NCDs and aging in the future.

PAHO/WHO’s is supporting efforts in its member countries to meet these challenges through policies and programs that strengthen prevention, increase early detection, and ensure sustainable and universal access to appropriate, quality care, including long-term care. PAHO/WHO’s technical cooperation emphasizes cross-sector policy frameworks and integrated management of NCDs as well as a primary health care approach. Key goals are to develop financial mechanisms to support preventive health care, facilitate savings for long-term care, and create linkages between health systems, social services, and community resources.

Primary health care has been shown to be important for secondary prevention and treatment of NCDs, through management of risk factors and coordination of care and medications. PAHO/WHO encourages a primary health care approach and the incorporation of aging issues into national health planning.

The costs of treating seniors with chronic conditions are high and growing. These costs are borne by everyone: governments, families, and the elderly themselves. Out-of-pocket health costs are highest for people with chronic health conditions and functional impairment. Pensions and health systems can become crippled by growing numbers of older people with NCDs, who often require costly and complicated care.

For seniors, good health helps ensure independence, security, and continued productivity in the later years. But non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes can diminish seniors’ quality of life, raise health-care costs, and increase pressure on family members who are responsible for their care.

Focusing on prevention, early detection, and healthy aging can help both health systems and pensions lower costs

Factsheet in English http://bit.ly/IMnHDq

Factsheet in Spanish http://bit.ly/HM0VMc

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