This report from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is based on findings from the “Scaling Healthy ageing, Inclusive environments and Financial security Today” (SHIFT) Index, a benchmarking analysis around ageing societies, as well as ten in-depth interviews with global experts. The SHIFT Index benchmarks against a set of national-level leading practices in creating an enabling environment supportive of longevity and healthy ageing for societies in 19 countries comprising the Group of Twenty (G20).
The SHIFT Index captures the multifactorial variables that impact healthy ageing across three domains:
(1) Adaptive health and social care systems;
(2) Accessible economic opportunity; and
(3) Inclusive social structures and institutions
In this foundational index, The EIU establishes a baseline understanding of each country’s enabling environment and identifies several key findings:
No G20 country is fully prepared to support healthy, financially secure, socially-connected older people. Despite clear progress made, governments have more work to do to make sure their health systems are adaptive to the needs of older adults as they age, while also fostering inclusion and ensuring individual economic security. Broadly, those countries with a higher proportion of people aged over 50 are implementing more leading practices to enable inclusive environments.
Enabling adults to age well begins with taking a broad view of how society supports older members, not just focusing on the health system. As a whole, the G20 countries perform best in providing adaptive healthcare systems and worst in providing inclusive social structures and institutions, indicating that countries still have work to do to shift the focus towards building more welcoming societies for older adults as they age. Countries also have room to grow to provide more accessible economic opportunities to older workers.
Wealthy countries may find it easier to respond, but wealth is not a prerequisite for providing supportive environments. The best scoring health systems tend to be high-income countries, but Indonesia (a lower-middle income country) has been making strides to improve its health system.
Government data collection isn’t yet robust enough to fully define and identify the problem and opportunity. There are a lack of data on dedicated health professionals, the extent of isolation and loneliness, as well as mental health. – The Economist