By Michael Hodin

With the 2021 World Health Assembly now in the record books, it’s not too soon to link the Decade of Healthy Ageing with real-world demands. A good place to start, of course, is super-aging Japan, which is already navigating the dynamics that every country will face in the next few decades. This was the precise reason for the Roundtable on Health Innovation for Super-Ageing Japan, convened jointly by the Global Coalition on Aging and Japan-based Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI).

At the event, pharma industry executives, Japanese government officials, academic experts, and OECD leaders concluded that…

By Rachelle Doody, Roche/Genentech

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world hard, and compounded many of the health inequalities affecting older people’s lives. From loneliness and isolation, to loss of essential support and reduced access to healthcare, as well as the stress of living alongside a virus that is more likely to cause serious or fatal illness in the oldest — in 2020, no group has been more vulnerable than the older community.[1]

Long before the pandemic, the United Nations (UN) had earmarked 2021–2030 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing. This will be a decade…

By Michael Hodin

If you stayed up late enough for the climax of Sunday’s Oscars celebration, you would have been surprised and delighted that Anthony Hopkins received Best Actor for his truly spectacular performance in The Father. This is a stunning, inspiring, if thoroughly depressing, but very real, account of the progressive effects of Alzheimer’s on a man, his family and those around him. You also would realize why bringing greater awareness to Alzheimer’s, enabling early detection and diagnosis, and driving profound public policy change to help tackle this devastating disease must be at the very top of everyone’s agenda.

By Michael Hodin

Even as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, not least courtesy of miraculous vaccine innovation, it’s worth pausing to reflect on the global community’s historic recognition of the full launch of the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing. Just in the last few weeks, two globally respected publications — The Lancet and The Economist Intelligence Unit — both released reports on the profound impact of aging for 21st century life. When The Lancet and The Economist Intelligence Unit both roll out stories on the same topic, it is clear that we are onto something big.

The Lancet’sAgeism…

By Michael Hodin

Like previous pandemics, COVID-19 has touched off profound changes for our societies, economies, workforces, and overall life models, not least of which are people’s shifting expectations for later-life work, purpose, health, and finances. Bank of America’s Lorna Sabbia and Surya Kolluri recently explored these trends in a wide-ranging discussion on the emerging shifts and signals that people are rethinking the period once known as retirement.

COVID-19 has accelerated many of the trends that were already challenging the outdated study-work-retire model, as individuals and families, financial services institutions, and policymakers grapple with the issues — and explore the…

By Michael Hodin

Covid-19 therapies and vaccines may be the most visible, but they aren’t the only places we are seeing transformational research translated to profound societal needs. At this past week’s International Conference on Alzheimer’s & Parkinson Diseases 2021, hope came in the form of progress on innovations for the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease — a crisis perhaps more slowly emerging than our experience with the Covid-19 pandemic, but one deserving serious and real attention as global demographics reach 2 billion over 60 where tens of millions are at risk.

At this past weekend’s virtual conference, we were able to…

By Michael Hodin

This post first appeared on the International Agency of the Prevention for Blindness blog.

World Glaucoma Week spotlights one of the key health challenges for our aging world, which will have more than 2 billion people aged 60 plus by 2050 and be home to more old than young people globally. For older adults, healthy vision is at the center of healthy aging — ensuring that we can stay active, productive, and engaged throughout our longer lives.

To realize this potential, global health leaders and national health systems must step up responses to glaucoma and learn from…

By Michael Hodin

When Hollywood notices a trend, it’s a reasonable bet that it has become mainstream. So, as shown by this year’s Golden Globes extravaganza, digital health has officially joined diversity, climate change, and social equity as one of the premier celebrity issues of our time.

Indeed, healthy aging — a beneficiary of digital health, especially during the pandemic — took center stage all night, as nearly 20 million viewers watched Tina Fey and Amy Poehler fawn over 80-year-old Jane Fonda receiving her Cecil B. DeMille award, recognize 98-year-old Norman Lear for his longevity, and celebrate I Care A…

By Michael Hodin

This post first appeared on the International Agency of the Prevention for Blindness blog.

The 2021 IAPB Vision Atlas arrives at a pivotal moment for global society. As the COVID-19 pandemic moves into its second year and vaccines begin to roll out, policymakers and all of us must look ahead and make smart investments that will not only improve the lives and health of older adults, but also control long-term costs.

The intersection of vision health and population aging opens a key opportunity to achieve these goals, especially as the Decade of Healthy Ageing — endorsed by…

By Malcolm Johnson, ITU

Andreea Popa via Unsplash

The following article has been adapted from my opening remarks at the 14th Annual AARP UN Briefing Series.

One benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has accelerated digital transformation and raised awareness of the importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to achieve progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

More than ever, older persons must be able to use digital technologies effectively.

Not only for their own health and welfare, but also to keep in touch with family members, keep up to date with the latest information and advice, and to…

Global Coalition on Aging

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