Demographic Shift in Aging
More than 900 million people around the globe were aged over 60 in 2015 and this number is expected to double to two billion people by 2050, according to the United Nations World Population Prospects report. And with this demographic shift, today’s aging population is also changing society’s concept of what it means to grow old.
With the average life expectancy continuously increasing, industrialized countries are facing two challenges presented by the demographic shift: how to manage the extra costs associated with longer term care; and how to handle the prospect of possibly spending more years in declining health. And since aging is a relatively modern phenomenon, we also need to further understand what aging means at both a global and local level.
Bayer is helping to address the demographic shift by bringing governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry together to build new frameworks and develop new medications that can meet the needs of people, providing sound investments in a future where people have the freedom to be and do what they value while having access to the care and medicines they need.
“The world’s population is facing a demographic shift.”
(Source: UN-Report "World Population Prospects", 2015)
The Bayer Commitment to Healthy Aging
Bayer is committed to delivering “Science For A Better Life” by addressing unmet needs through scientific progress and innovation.
We’re helping to optimize opportunities for good health by supporting medical education and knowledge sharing that addresses the increase in average life span in developed countries – leading to a high-quality life that’s as active and independent as possible. Meanwhile, younger generations can make well-informed decisions to help prevent chronic diseases, so they’re encouraged to remain healthy well into their senior years.
In June 2016, Member of European Parliament (MEP) Lambert van Nistelrooij hosted a Bayer initiated stakeholder dialogue on healthy aging at the European Parliament in Brussels. Together with our stakeholders, Bayer is helping change public perception of healthy aging by acknowledging and tackling the challenges of a demographic shift and aging worldwide.
“901 million people worldwide were aged above 60 in 2015. By 2050, this figure will double to approximately two billion.”
(Source: UN-Report "World Population Prospects", 2015)
Voices on Aging
Through research and development, Bayer is aiming to help an aging population live a life that is as active as possible. And through targeted awareness activities, younger generations can take steps to help prevent diseases, so they remain healthy later in life.
When it comes to aging, you’re not alone. Learn more about aging from people just like you in our video series Voices on Aging:
Our Healthy Aging Series will ask experts from Non-Governmental Organizations, Governments, Economists, Digital Leaders and industry on what Healthy Aging means to them. We continue the series with the interview of Michael Green, Executive Director of Social Progress Imperative.
Ask the Experts
Q: Can you tell us about the Social Progress Imperative?
A: The Social Progress Imperative works with partners to help increase awareness on social progress being as important as economic growth or gross domestic product (GDP). Our network consists of partner organizations in business, government and civil society that use our so-called Social Progress Index to improve human wellbeing and guide social investments.
Q: What is the Social Progress Index (SPI)?
A: The Social Progress Index complements the measure of national performance using traditional economic measures such as GDP with data on social and environmental performance. The Index measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens and defines social progress as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.
Q: How does the social progress index measure health?
A: There are two components in the index that we use to measure health. One of the components is around nutrition and basic medical care, which deals with some of the issues around child mortality, maternal mortality and nutrition. The second component is on health and wellness. That is, how are countries dealing with health issues? One of the toughest challenges for social progress is on the health and wellness component, which does not tend to improve as countries get richer.
Q: How has aging changed over the last 50 years?
A: We have seen that life expectancy has increased over the last 50 years and represents one of the crowning achievements of the last century, but also presents significant challenges. Societal aging may affect economic growth and many other areas, including the ability of states and communities to provide infrastructure, resources and healthcare services for older citizens.
Q: How do we begin the discussion on aging?
A: We need to partner with industry players like Bayer; NGOs like the International Federation on Aging; and governments at all levels and confront this urgent global challenge so we can define how we’re going to measure, track, improve, innovate and lead the discussion on health and aging.
“No matter our number of years, we’re all aging from the minute we’re born. It’s a topic that affects all ages.”
Dieter Weinand, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, President Pharmaceuticals