Growing old gracefully with a new ISO technical committee for ageing societies

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Por Clare Naden
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The world’s population is ageing, just like us. As we enter the era of “super-aged societies”1), governments, communities and businesses need to adapt. A new ISO technical committee has just been formed to help.

In 2017, the number of people aged 60 years or over worldwide was more than twice as big as in 1980, and it is expected to double again by 2050 to reach nearly 2.1 billion2). The changing demographics of our society brings with it pressures and challenges ranging from everything to healthcare to the local bus. But opportunities, too, are rife. The recently formed ISO technical committee ISO/TC 314Ageing societies aims to develop standards and solutions across a wide range of areas, to tackle the challenges posed as well as harness the opportunities that ageing populations bring.

ISO/TC 314 Secretary Nele Zgavc from BSI, ISO’s member for the UK, said dementia, preventative care, ageing workforces, technologies and accessibility are just some of the areas of standardization that the committee proposes to work on. “Ageing societies have global implications,” she said. “Governments and service providers need to effectively cater to the needs of their populations as they age for the benefit of society as a whole. There is a crucial need for standards to support this in order to provide a high-quality level of service and harness the opportunities that ageing societies hold.”

ISO/TC 314 comes as a result of extensive work in this area by ISO, including the development of International Workshop Agreement IWA 18Framework for integrated community-based life-long health and care services in aged societies, which led to the creation of the ISO Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) on Ageing Societies. Recognizing the enormous breadth of the subject, the SAG was formed to confirm the need and determine the strategic direction and scope of future standardization in this area.

ISO/TC 314 is currently composed of experts from 30 different countries, including those previously involved in the SAG and in the development of IWA 18.

1) Meaning that more than 21 % of the population is over 65.

2) World Population Ageing Report, United Nations, 2017.

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