3rd January 2018

OECD/AARP: We can all be innovators in ageing

Many people will spend more time and resources caring for their ageing parents than they did raising their own children...Is global ageing a crisis? Not if we change the conversation and get rid of the outdated beliefs and stereotypes about ageing...Disrupt ageing is not just about re-imagining old age, Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP writes.


'As countries and societies throughout the world work to adapt their economies and societies to these new realities, one thing is clear: many countries’ cultures, institutions, social supports and infrastructures have not kept up with the advancements that science, technology and innovation have made possible in the way we age.

In fact, if you type “Global Ageing” into Google, the first phrase Google will suggest you are looking for is “Global Ageing Crisis.” Is global ageing a crisis? Not if we change the conversation and get rid of the outdated beliefs and stereotypes about ageing, and spark new solutions so that more of us can choose how we want to live as we age–what I like to call “Disrupt Ageing”.

Disrupt ageing is not just about re-imagining old age: it’s about designing our lives and creating social institutions, public policies and personal behaviours that support people throughout their lives. We’re beginning to see this happen throughout the world. Entrepreneurs and innovators are creating an incredible array of products and services targeted to older people. Advances in research and technology are driving innovation in virtually every field that affects our ability to live well as we age.

But innovation is not just developing new products and services; it’s also about how products are designed, how services are delivered, and how policies are implemented.

We recently teamed with FP Analytics to take an in-depth look at how 12 countries are adapting their economies and societies to an ageing population. We focused on policy innovations in four key areas: community social infrastructure, productive opportunity, healthcare and wellness, and technological engagement. The resulting Aging Readiness and Competitiveness (ARC) Report, published in 2017, identified six big ideas that include innovative programmes to promote volunteerism and entrepreneurship, lifelong learning in financial and technological literacy, support for caregivers and intergenerational community building.'

Find full story with short country case studies here.


Also, contrary to stereotypes, workers age 50 and up are among the most engaged members of the workforce, according to an AARP study (note: the survey was conducted in the USA). Sixty-five percent of employees age 55 and up are "engaged," compared to 58 to 60 percent of younger employees. They also offer employers lower turnover rates and greater levels of experience. Read also AARP's Part-Time Jobs for Workers 50+. What skills are sought-after by employers in the USA?

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic