The Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity is an international, independent, and multidisciplinary initiative that will develop a comprehensive report assessing the challenges presented by population aging. Through evidence-based recommendations, the report will demonstrate how these challenges can be translated into opportunities for societies globally. The report will be informed by workstreams in three domains:
- Social, Behavioral, and Environmental Enablers
- Health Care Systems and Public Health
- Science and Technology
With equity at its center, particular consideration will be given to policy and practice; innovation; financing; and monitoring metrics. The initiative will convene thought leaders from biological and behavioral sciences, medicine, health care, public health, engineering, technology, economics, and policy to identify the necessary priorities and directions for improving health, productivity, and quality of life for older adults worldwide.
The report, due for publication in 2021, will be authored by an independent International Commission assembled by the National Academy of Medicine. The work of the Commission is overseen by an International Oversight Board comprised of leaders from foundations, business, government, and academia. The Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity is part of the NAM’s Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge.
Background: Rapidly Aging Populations in the U.S. & Worldwide
The population of the United States is rapidly aging. By 2060, the number of Americans age 65+ is anticipated to more than double from 46 million to over 98 million, and the number of people 85+ is expected to increase by 200%. This trend of population aging is occurring not only in the United States and other high-income countries but also in middle- and low- income countries around the world. Today, 8.5% of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over, and by 2050, this figure is projected to more than double, reaching 1.6 billion. At the global and national levels, we remain unprepared to support the social, fiscal, and health care needs of the growing elderly population. Combined with declining fertility rates, the rapid aging of the population globally is poised to strain economies, health systems, and social structures
Successfully maneuvering this demographic transition, while identifying and reaping its potential benefits, will require policies, socioeconomic infrastructures, and innovations that promote and advance the health of older populations. The World Health Organization, in its World Report on Ageing and Health, defines healthy aging as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age.” To achieve this, a complex interplay of several factors—genetics, socioeconomic circumstances, physical environments, behavior, and access to quality health care—need to be addressed concurrently. A holistic systems-approach is essential, whereby all sectors collaborate and co-innovate to advance those lifestyles, behaviors, services, supports, and infrastructures that are essential to fostering good and equitable health outcomes, along with ongoing productivity and societal value, as people live longer. Without harnessing these opportunities, we will experience profound consequences worldwide and fall short in achieving critical domestic and global health agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage, as population aging is inextricably linked with many of them.
Concrete progress to coordinate comprehensive global action is urgently needed.
California Health Care Foundation
Nathaniel (Ned) David
Gary and Mary West Foundation
Harvey V. Fineberg Impact Fund
John A. Hartford Foundation
Mehta Family Foundation
Ministry of Health Singapore
National Research Foundation Singapore
National University Health System Singapore
National University of Singapore
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation