The topic of ageing is a popular one and this come as no surprises since so many countries have their eyes on this subject, each trying their best to come up with a viable solution (or as they like to call it – Ageing Intervention).
The topic came up repeatedly last week during the Hospital Management Program I attended as well as during a dinner meeting with a delegation from the Netherlands (more details on both events will be provided in a separate post).
I shared with both audience (the first being senior health executives from Asia Pacific and the latter being senior health executives from the Netherlands) that I have always advocated (and taught formally in the Mini-HI program) that almost everyone who is attempting to ‘fix’ ageing is doing it wrong.
The reaction I received is almost always the same – puzzlement and suspicion, that is until I explain the reasons why I made such a bold statement. Given that I always get the same reaction, I reckon that it will be more meaningful / impactful if I share this via Social Media.
To give some background, I get involved very frequently in designing intervention solutions (as a Health Informatician) for the ageing population and I noticed that the use-case almost always starts with the population being already “old” (be it 60 or 65, depending on the region of focus).
Wearing my “Public Health Hat” (yes, I am a Public Health Professional too!), I always ask why not start the ageing intervention when the population is 40? At least 20 years before retirement so prevention measures can be adopted?
With proper exercises, diet and mental care etc. factored into preventive measures targeting population around the age of 40, we will mitigate a lot of the problems we are trying to fix at level 1 and 2 (maybe even level 3) interventions for the ageing population! And it would be a lot cheaper (not to mention effective) too!
Heck, we may even get to design solutions for graceful ageing if we plan our solutions for population when they are in their 40s.
So whoever is reading this, keep in mind to find a qualified Health Informatician who also happens to have a MPH and is a Mensan (hint: Look for me) when you are trying to fix health and healthcare… lol