As European population ages UN body suggests ways to enhance senior lives

The number of elderly people in Europe is on the rise and responding to their changing needs is one of the biggest challenges that governments have to face this century, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said today.In Europe, there are now 4.4 people of working age for every person aged 65 years or older, UNECE said. By 2025, there will 3 working-age people for every elderly person, and by 2050 it will be 2 working-age people for every elderly person.To help prepare policymakers for the population change, UNECE is launching a series of four policy briefs on aging: mainstreaming ageing; gender equality, work and old age; older persons as consumers; participation and integration of older persons.Among the recommendations is a plan to realize a “society for all ages,” for which countries will need to enhance older persons’ participation in social, political and economic life and improve their access to transport, appropriate housing and cultural activities. Another brief recommends differences when drafting pension laws given that elderly women in UNECE countries live longer than men and have little income after their partners’ deaths. 20 November 2009The number of elderly people in Europe is on the rise and responding to their changing needs is one of the biggest challenges that governments have to face this century, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said today. read more