Ageing well across cultures

Authored by: Matthew Carroll , Helen Bartlett

Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415631143
eBook ISBN: 9780203097090
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221033

10.4324/9780203097090.ch36

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Abstract

The active ageing approach has become a leading global response to population ageing, having been widely adopted as a policy direction across the European Union (EU) and various national and local governments. This trend has been greatly influenced by the World Health Organization publication of Active Ageing: A Policy Framework (WHO 2002), which has provided the basis for many national policies. The framework defined active ageing as ‘the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age’ (WHO 2002: 12). The WHO model conceptualises active ageing broadly as ‘continuing participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs, not just the ability to be physically active or to participate in the labour force’, and highlights the importance of maintaining autonomy and independence (WHO 2002: 12). Both culture and gender are recognised in the WHO model as cross-cutting factors that have a major influence on active ageing. Given that it is over a decade since the release of the WHO Active Ageing Framework, it is timely to consider the impact of this initiative, particularly on how older people from different cultures and groups experience active ageing.

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