Norway welcomes the global strategy and action plan on ageing and health. Longevity is changing our individual lives, and ageing is transforming our societies. A global strategy for active and healthy ageing can pave the way for how we can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow by embracing opportunities.
We must rethink what it means to be older, that age is not a limit for participation. We must stimulate better and smarter ways of designing (organizing) our lives and our societies. We can profit from technological and social innovation, if we are willing to rethink ageing and older people's participation.
We welcome the good practices and experiences we can learn from the WHO Age-friendly cities network. Inspiration can be found in the European Union's program for Innovations for active ageing.
Norway has good health registers documenting significant social inequalities in health, having grave consequences for an ageing society. We know that increasingly more people can expect healthy life years (ahead of them), but there are risks due to obesity and inactivity especially in the younger cohorts.
Further promotion of public health and elaboration of a Health in all policies-approach is therefore vital to succeed with healthy and active ageing, and future well-being and welfare. Thus, we agree with Germany that the strategy and plan of action could have focused more explicitly on primary prevention.
Older people represent a huge, untapped resource. But many do not feel wanted in work-life and society and are met by negative attitudes. This sense of age-discrimination is a health risk.
At the same time, we are facing lack of personnel in many vital sectors. We hope the strategy pays attention to the need of health personnel working longer, by tailoring HR policies, so that older people will want to work longer with valuable contributions.
Increased longevity must be met by increased expectations of working longer. Both employers and employees must contribute to longer work life. Labour is welfare – but work is also a matter of health and well-being in life. Healthy and active ageing is important for future welfare, for us, as well as for our grand-children.