Jakarta (ANTARA) - As national life expectancy increases and the aging population period starts, ensuring a healthy and productive elderly population becomes important, director for productive population and elderly health at the Health Ministry, Nida Rohmawati, has said.

"According to the 2023 population census, the percentage of the elderly is 11.75 percent (of the population), and this number is predicted to increase to almost 20 percent of the total Indonesian population in 2045," Rohmawati pointed out during a webinar on "Combating Ageism," broadcast here on Friday to mark National Elderly Day 2024.

She noted that currently, Indonesia has at least 28.9 million elderly people, and their number is predicted to cross 50 million in 2045.

She said that the aging process can cause both physical and mental decline in people, putting them at risk of health issues, such as comorbidities and complications.

Moreover, as the demographic changes and the elderly grow in number, their access to basic resources for a better life becomes limited, thereby barring them from participating in public activities, she added.

She pointed out that a collaborative effort is necessary to combat the issue to create independent, active, and productive elderly people.

"On the global level, the UN is pursuing the 'Decade of Healthy Aging 2021–2030' as the main strategy to develop people of all ages," she said.

The global initiative compels government, public, international institutions, professionals, scholars, media, and private parties to improve the quality of life of the elderly as well as their families and communities.

Rohmawati said that the initiative outlines four actions, the first being combating ageism, which covers thoughts and actions toward people based on perceptions about age.

The second is creating an elderly friendly environment, the third is integrated care for older people, and the fourth is long-term care for older people, she added.

She said that Indonesia has been pursuing the third action, for instance, by initiating Simple Health Screening for Elderly (SKILAS).

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Reporter: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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