New framework helps communities adapt to ageing populations

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Por Clare Naden
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The fact that we are living longer is a real and growing issue for many governments and community providers, placing increased demands on areas such as healthcare and safety. A new International Workshop Agreement aims to provide the foundation on which more solutions can be built.

There is no denying that populations around the world are ageing at rates never seen before. According to a United Nations report on world population, the number of people aged 60 or over is expected to more than double by 2050, and more than triple by 2100. This brings pressure on governments and community service providers to prepare and adapt to ensure their health and well-being, and active participation in society.

Experts from government, public health, product manufacturers and health research were brought together in a workshop to discuss and develop a framework of the fundamental principles that should be addressed when providing community-based, integrated health and care services for aged societies.

This discussion resulted in a new ISO International Workshop Agreement – IWA 18:2016, Framework for integrated community-based life-long health and care services in aged societies developed to help address the challenges posed by an ageing population, such as healthcare, well-being and combatting isolation.

IWA 18 gives guidance on the key principles identified as essential for future investment, and covers areas such as the medical needs of the elderly, personal care, daily living tasks, maintaining relationships and community involvement, and keeping safe.

The workshop and agreement were led by BSI, ISO’s member for the United Kingdom.

Dr Yoshiaki Ichikawa from Japan, who took a leading role in chairing the development of this Workshop Agreement, emphasized: “Each country has its own issues when managing its older population and recognizes the importance of addressing these areas. This IWA is an important step in learning from each other, and we hope to reach a high-level understanding and collaboration through this work.

“It will help to share proven best practice and improve the understanding of aged societies by policy makers and the general public, but perhaps more importantly, it also serves as a starting point for the development of future standards or guidance documents for specific aspects of this area, and thus paves the way for more innovative and effective solutions, providing economic benefits through the provision of better products and services.”

IWA 18 can be purchased from your local ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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