VANCOUVER, BC (June 25, 2014)--At a June 26 expert consultation on "The Silver Economy: Facts, Challenges and Opportunities" in Oxford, England, International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) CEO Colin Milner will stress to attendees that building the foundation for new social contracts by promoting positive views of aging is crucial to addressing the challenges and opportunities of population aging. Milner was invited to present and participate in this gathering of global experts on aging organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Global Coalition on Aging and Oxford University's Harris Manchester College.
"Increased life expectancy is one of the most significant success stories of our times, and there are calls for the creation of new models to address this demographic shift," says Milner. "Yet the very success of these new models, and their ability to have an impact, can be compromised by developing and delivering them within a societal framework that views aging negatively."
Moving beyond today's models "requires us to view aging through a new lens," Milner comments--"one in which society sees older people as active, full members of society and encourages them to play a more productive, meaningful role. For individuals to adopt this role, society must support the belief that age is just a number and that abilities and contributions do not cease at the age of retirement." A positive self-perception of aging contributes to older adults leading an engaged, productive life in their later years. A negative self-perception, on the other hand, can limit individuals as well as impede their health and well-being.
"By encouraging older adults to recognize their potential and be active in society, we can bridge the perceived generation gap and reinforce for all generations what it means to grow old today," Milner continues. "When older adults' abilities and contributions are promoted, new social contracts will emerge that encourage and recognize a more cohesive, inclusive society."
Active aging is a key solution for many of the challenges associated with population aging, according to Milner. It is also a life span opportunity to ensure that future generations age well, adds ICAA's CEO, who was asked to present at the expert consultation on how the association and its members are changing the way society perceives aging in North America. The meeting organizers are seeking lessons learned from ICAA's experiences to inform OECD's 34 member countries and assist them in developing best practices.
About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
The International Council on Active Aging® is the professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry. ICAA supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging--an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness (i.e., physical, social, environmental, vocational, intellectual, emotional and spiritual)--and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools.
As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, the European Commission, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.
ICAA launched the Changing the Way We Age® Campaign (http://www.changingthewayweage.com) as part of the organization's efforts to promote positive perceptions of aging and overturn ageist stereotypes.
Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595