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The Impact of Ageism on the Health of Older People – World Health Day 2019

April 05, 2019  · 2 min read

7 April marks World Health Day, and this year, the International Federation on Ageing wants to highlight the importance of addressing ageism to ensure the health of older people is taken into consideration across the globe.


Older people are often neglected in the planning of public health strategies due to ageist and false beliefs from government and policymakers that older people only contribute in small ways to the economy. A recent Guardian article explains that ageism may increase ill-health in older age. 



"Jackson and colleagues suggest that among the possible ways ageism could take a toll are difficulties in adopting a healthy lifestyle – such as gym-going – for fear of discrimination, worse care and less timely diagnoses by health professionals, and even stress – which might affect the body through inflammatory mechanisms, triggering unhealthy behaviours or psychological distress." - Nicola Davis, The Guardian


There are countless ways health can be preserved in later life, from regular vision check-ups, to keeping up to date on adult vaccinations such as influenza, pneumonia and shingles. Vaccination is often considered “just for kids”, however it is pertinent in preserving health and functional ability in older age. Contact IFA expert Gary Finnegan, Editor of Vaccines Today to learn more about the importance of vaccination to healthy ageing, and IFA expert Dr. Michele Corcio, Vice President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness on the important role vision plays in healthy ageing. 


This year’s World Health Day theme is “Universal Health Coverage.” Read the following expert spotlight which discusses the importance of universal health care to older people, and consider registering for the IFA 15th Global Conference on Ageing which will feature experts from around the world discussing the importance of healthy ageing.

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