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Getting older is a given

Today, most people can expect to be 60 years and older. The 60-year olds can expect to live for about another 22 years. However, every person deserves the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. The World Health Organization (WHO 2020: 3) defines healthy ageing as the process by which a person maintains and develops his / her ability to remain functional. Functionality is described as the person’s ability to provide for their basic needs, learn, grow and make decisions. Furthermore, it involves being mobile, building and maintaining relationships and making a contribution to society.

Healthy ageing can be experienced by everyone. Ageing healthy does not mean that the person has to live without disease or restraint. Many older people experience one or more health conditions that, due to good control, do not adversely affect their well-being.

To foster healthy ageing and improve the lives of older people, fundamental shifts will be required by families and communities to think differently about age and getting older. In 2020, the WHO announced the decade of healthy ageing (2020-2030). The program focus on bringing about change in how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing. It must be ensured that communities are sensitive to the needs of older people. Organizations need to provide services to older persons that is person-centered, whether it is primary health care or long-term care.

Free State Care in Action therefore implements programs to enable older persons to maintain their functional independence for as long as possible. These programs focus on empowering them regarding healthy ageing as well as making communities aware of the needs of older persons. All institutional care takes place on a person-centred basis, where the individual, social, cultural and physical needs of the person are addressed in a holistic care plan.

Good health adds life to years!