AGEING POPULATIONS: HOW EUROPE CAN LIVE LONGER AND BETTER
- EUROPE’S AGEING POPULATION FACES AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
- MORE AND MORE EUROPEANS ARE LIVING LONGER
- A DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT IS UNDERWAY
- MEANWHILE, CHRONIC DISEASE IS ON THE RISE
- MANY CHRONIC DISEASES CAN BE PREVENTED AND MANAGED
- HELPING PEOPLE STAY ACTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE LONGER
- CAREGIVERS MUST BE SUPPORTED AS WELL
- How Governments and Employers Can Help
Across Europe, people are living longer. While this is good news, there are some potentially serious consequences. Lower birth rates combined with ageing populations and increasing rates of chronic disease could lead a drop in the number of people in the workforce. Currently, the EU economy loses €240 billion each year to sick leave, almost 2% of GDP. The sicker populations become, the more this number will rise. Economies could face declining productivity rates combined with increasing healthcare costs, which could end up representing 10% of the GDP.
So how can countries help people live longer, healthier—and therefore more productive lives? The answer lies in implementing sustainable healthcare models built around prevention, early intervention and centred on the needs of patients and caregivers.
In Poland, AbbVie has created a pilot programme to address these challenges. Called “Healthy, Active, Constructive,” the project unites a consortium of key stakeholders who are working together to improve prevention, early intervention, and care practices. The first step is to help stakeholders understand that healthcare is an investment, not a cost. Focusing on identifying prevention and early intervention strategies that help improve long-term outcomes and working hand-in-hand with stakeholders to implement them, “Healthy, Active, Constructive” is helping Poland’s future look brighter.
EU White paper, Executive Summary, p 15.
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.