Seven metropolises to become age-friendly

April 19, 2021 - 18:54

TEHRAN – The national document on elderly-friendly cities is being implemented on seven metropolises across the country, Hesamoddin Allameh, head of the secretariat of the National Council of the Elderly, has said.

The age-friendly guidelines focus on eight areas, including accessible environment, appropriate transportation, social and civic participation, employment, respect for the elderly, information and communication, social support, and health services for the elderly, he explained, IRNA reported on Monday.

He went on to note that after the implementation of the adaptation phase, the age-friendly city roadmap was outlined in a five-year plan for Isfahan, and this year (beginning on March 21), it is planned to present the educational process and roadmap to other metropolises, as well.

According to United Nations estimates, the number of older persons (60+) will double from the current 600 million to 1.2 billion by 2025, and again, to 2 billion by 2050. The vast majority of older people live in their homes and communities, but in environments that have not been designed with their needs and capacities in mind.

Older people face increasing challenges due to the sensory and other changes that age brings. In an age-friendly community, policies, services, and structures related to the physical and social environment are designed to support and enable older people to “age actively” – that is, to live in security, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in society. 

Public and commercial settings and services are made accessible to accommodate varying levels of ability. Many aspects of urban settings and services can contribute to the participation, health, independence, and security of older persons in an age-friendly city.

Iran: the world’s oldest

Mohammad Esmaeil Akbari, a senior advisor to the minister of health, has said that the world has grown about 5 years older over the past 70 years, but the population of Iran has unfortunately grown 10 years older in the past 60 years.

"Currently, the elderly constitutes less than 10 percent of the population and we are considered a young country, but we are getting older every year so that in the next 20 years, we will be one of the oldest countries in the world and the oldest by the next 30 years,” he explained.

The population of senior citizens currently exceeds 8 million in Iran, and the annual growth rate of the country's aging population is about 3.8 percent, head of the secretariat national council of the elderly Hassan Salmannejad said in December 2018.

The 2011 census observed a significant demographic change in the elderly population of Iran (the percentage of the elderly population increased from 7.27 to 8.20 percent from 2006 to 2011, and to 8.65 percent in 2016). The aging population is predicted to rise to 10.5 percent in 2025 and to 21.7 percent in 2050.

Although the increase in the number of old persons in any country indicates an increase in life expectancy, the elderly population growth needs more welfare and social institutions, which affects the policies and capacities of the country.

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