With almost 900 million people now over the age of 60, today marks International Day for Older Persons.
By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20% of the world’s population, will be 60 or older.
Over 1.3 million people aged 60 and over live on the island of Ireland. By 2041, there will be 2.3 million aged 60 and over across the island. An increase in life expectancy is a major reason for the rise in this population.
The Ageing Research and Development division of the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) focuses on improving health intelligence relating to ageing and older people.
Prof Roger O’Sullivan, who leads the division and is Interim CEO of IPH, says the demographic change has a range of implications for public health.
He added: “IPH recognises the important contribution made by older people in communities across the island of Ireland. The health and wellbeing of older people is a key public health issue across the island. Good health is essential if older people are to remain independent and play an active role in family and community life. IPH has undertaken a range of work, research and policy analysis in this area and will continue to do so.”