Canary in the Coal Mine: Learnings from COVID-19 for Health Ecosystems in an Ageing World

June 11, 2020 / Virtual

The outsize vulnerability of older adults in the global COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be the canary in the coal mine for health systems around the world, exposing critical gaps that threaten health and wellbeing at all ages and that demand a shift to a new kind of health ecosystem for our ageing world.

This year marks the launch of the WHO’s Decade of Healthy Ageing, creating opportunities to learn from the direct and indirect health consequences of COVID-19 and to build a more robust ecosystem that better supports a life course of mental, physical, and social health for all. From ensuring that preventative services, such as screenings and vaccinations, are available and accessible to people of all ages, to addressing the care crises that have been laid bare by the pandemic, to supporting continued innovation and effective use and integration of technology into new and existing services, the COVID
-19 experience has made clear that the priorities and actions of policymakers, civil society, and the private sector must rapidly evolve to secure a future of healthy ageing and economic growth for the 21st century.

In this webinar, expert speakers from ILC-UK, Johns Hopkins University, and the Global Coalition on Aging will explore what we are learning from the experience of older adults in COVID-19 about how health ecosystems – from the central healthcare system to care settings, caregivers, employers, and individuals – all must adapt to the needs of an ageing society, both during the pandemic and beyond.

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Latest Developments

We keep our members and partners in touch with the most recent updates and opinions in the worldwide dialogue on population longevity and related issues.

Joint Statement on COVID-19 Vaccines & Older Adults

As WHO, CEPI, and Gavi meet and consider how best to manage the planning and deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine, we feel the voice of older adults, one of the most vulnerable, important, and essential groups should feature prominently in the COVAX process.

2020 Silver Economy Forum-China Kick-Off Event

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) is pleased to announce that the 2020 Silver Economy Forum will kick off on July 29, followed by a series of virtual events in September. The special preview event, Silver Economy Sustainability in China and Globally: Lessons from COVID-19, will take place on July 29, at 8:00 AM EDT / 2:00 PM CEST / 8:00 PM CST.

New Report From the American Federation for Aging Research and the Global Coalition on Aging Highlights Adult Vaccination as Critical Lever for Healthy Aging

New York, NEW YORK (July 14, 2020) – The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and the Global Coalition on Aging today released a report, Adult Vaccinations: Opportunities for Action, Barriers to Engagement, Paths to Healthier Aging. The new report shares insights from an expert symposium hosted by the two organizations in late 2019 on the urgency of vaccinations for adults to promote healthy aging.

Canary in the Coal Mine: Learnings from COVID-19 for Health Ecosystems in an Ageing World

In this webinar, expert speakers from ILC-UK, Johns Hopkins University, and the Global Coalition on Aging will explore what we are learning from the experience of older adults in COVID-19 about how health ecosystems – from the central healthcare system to care settings, caregivers, employers, and individuals – all must adapt to the needs of an ageing society, both during the pandemic and beyond.

Reflections on Empowerment: The COVID-19 Pandemic Reinforces the Need for Solidarity and a Focus on our Life Priorities

The New Social Contract: Empowering individuals in a transitioning world, a global survey report published by Aegon in 2019, identifies people’s top four current life priorities as: being healthy and fit (62%), enjoying life (59%), planning for their financial future (49%), and focusing on family (45%). Since the end of last year, the entire world has been upended by COVID-19.

Financial Times Letter to the Editor

Brenden Greeley’s “The economy is king in Donald Trump’s re-election bid” (Opinion, December 20) accurately and optimistically concludes that our US economy will “get [another] massive wave of hiring around mid-year”. But in his earlier, also accurate assessment that “working age adults continue to join the workforce” he misses another, equally powerful piece of the puzzle: for employers and policymakers in any growth economy to take the necessary 21st-century step of opening jobs to those of us over the quaint 20th-century retirement age of 60 or so.