WHO launches new framework to strengthen long-term care

The World Health Organisation says it has released a new framework for countries to attain a united and integrated continuum of long-term care.

The WHO noted that the framework was developed in consistency with existing strategy, action plan and frameworks on healthy ageing, adding that it was based on the latest evidence and consultations with a range of stakeholders that include its expert advisory group and Global Network on Long-term Care.

The UN body noted that approximately two-thirds of people who get to older age are likely to need care and support from others at some point, to perform daily activities.

It said such needs may arise suddenly, or as a consequence of an acute problem or event, or may develop gradually over time.

The WHO said irrespective of why a person might need long-term care, many health and social care systems around the world are currently unable to deliver long-term care services and support to older people who really need it.

The WHO said the UN Decade of healthy Ageing 2021-30, recognises the challenges faced by countries, which include providing access to long-term care for older people who need it as one of its four action areas.

It noted that with its partners in the UN Decade, they are striving for a world in which all people can live long and healthy lives, including through access to long-term care services and support, when needed.

The WHO’s Director for Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, Dr. Anshu Banerjee, said, “The framework aims to promote a global common understanding of long-term care, as well as facilitate assessment and integration of long-term care systems and services within existing health and social care systems.

“Through the framework, WHO aims to provide guidance by highlighting key components of long-term care systems to support countries in their journey to establish sustainable and equitable long-term care provision.

“The framework is primarily intended to be used by governments and policymakers and provides a checklist which helps to assess existing long-term care systems, identify potential gaps, and ultimately help in planning for next implementation steps.”

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