The aging of populations around the world is rapidly accelerating. For the first time in history, most people get to live into their 60’s and well beyond. According to Faivish Pewzner, chief operating officer at Americare, some of the biggest and fastest changes are taking place in low- and middle-income countries. In these countries, the increase in life expectancy is driven mainly by reductions in infant mortality, reductions in cardiovascular and infectious diseases. Increased life expectancy in high-income countries is largely the result of declining mortality among older adults.

These extra years of life and demographic shifts have profound implications for each of us, as well as for the societies we live in. The aging trend has affected the entire world with its serious consequences for health and pension systems, health workforce in general and global government budgets. Population aging brings about challenges and opportunities at the same time. Coming to terms with this changing demographic and investing in healthy aging has enabled individuals to live longer and healthier lives, and made possible for societies to produce dividends.

In order to ensure that seniors will live not only longer but healthier lives, health executives from around the world, including Faivish Pewzner, came up with a global strategy and action plan on aging and health. This strategy helped move forward and establish a framework to successfully reach healthy aging for all. To build the systems required to meet the needs of older adults, and promote healthy aging, Mr. Pewzner calls all countries to get involved and commit to action. Developing age-friendly environments is a safe investment plan that will provide older adults with freedom of choice.

However, before we start to respond positively to the challenges brought about by aging populations, it is necessary to discard any outdated stereotypes, which requires fundamental shifts in the things we do. That means profound changes in the way health policies are formulated and services are provided. Contrary to popular belief, compared to other factors such as high costs of innovative medical technologies, aging has far less influence on health care expenditures. There is even evidence showing that decline in functionality is only loosely associated with growing old.

Faivish Pewzner is optimistic about this cause and believes that with the right policies and services, he can help turn population aging into a great new opportunity for individuals and societies alike. His goal is to transform the way people perceive aging and show its rich potential.

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