The toolkit builds upon the concepts and principles of the WHO’s Active Ageing Policy Framework, published in 2002 on the occasion of the Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid. The Active Ageing Policy Framework calls on policy-makers, governments, and the non-governmental sector to optimize opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance the quality of life of people as they age.
The framework recognizes that active and healthy ageing depends on a variety of determinants that surround individuals throughout the life course:
- Cross-cutting determinants: culture and gender
- Determinants related to health and social service systems e.g. health promotion and
- disease prevention.
- Behavioural determinants e.g. tobacco use and physical activity.
- Determinants related to personal factors e.g. biological and psychological factors.
- Determinants related to the physical environment e.g. safe housing and falls.
- Economic determinants e.g. income and social protection
These determinants and the interplay between them are good predictors of how well individuals age; they cope with illness and disability; or remain active contributors of their community.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the critical role that primary health centres play in the health of older persons in all countries and the need for these centres to be accessible and adapted to the needs of older populations.
Consequently, all primary health care workers should be well versed in the diagnosis and management of the chronic diseases and the so-called four giants of geriatrics: memory loss, urinary incontinence, depression and falls/immobility that often impact people as they age.