Wise Futures in Ageing Societies

Janice Orrell, Lily Xiao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Wise societies take seriously the evidence that populations worldwide are ageing. Age sociologists and gerontologists argue that past and current practices in caring for older adults are not appropriate indicators for the future, because each generational cohort is born into a unique point in history. Each cohort’s accompanying life chances shape the uniqueness of their expectations regarding as well as functional and cognitive capacity in their later years. Thus, wise practice for aged care needs to be evidence-informed and based on an understanding that ageing is an ever-changing social construct. The United Nations and the World Health Organization have established goals to promote healthy, active ageing and age friendly environments globally, maintaining an overview across nations regarding emerging ageing demographics and the well-being of older citizens in each country. The UN and WHO gather and analyse trends worldwide to provide guidance for governments and service providers to assist them to translate the information into appropriate action in local contexts. It is questionable, however, whether individual Governments make adequate use of this guidance? Wise Government agendas should aim to combat ageism, enable autonomy, and account for cultural, gender, and sexual diversity as well as elderly citizens’ socio-economic differences in life chances. Wise societies should seek active engagement of older people, respect their wisdom and value the contributions that older people have made, and continue to make, to their families and their communities.respect their wisdom and value the contributions that older people have made, and continue to make, to their families and their communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShaping Wise Futures
Subtitle of host publication A Shared Responsibility
EditorsJoy Higgs, Janice Orrell, Diane Tasker, Narelle Patton
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-50554-4
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-50552-0, 978-90-04-50553-7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021

Publication series

NamePractice Futures
ISSN (Print)2665-9263


  • ageing
  • ageism
  • wisdom of age and experience
  • World Health Organization
  • age friendly cities


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