Keeping up with ageing societies

1 October is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, which celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to society.


The 2017 theme – “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society” – highlights the importance of creating enabling environments and opportunities for the elderly, to ensure that no one is left behind. ISO standards play a vital role in making this a reality.


The International Organization for Standardization has stated that age-friendly standards can help solve the challenges posed by ageing societies. One example is ISO 13482, Robots and robotic devices – Safety requirements for personal care robots, which specifies requirements and guidelines for the inherently safe design and use of personal care robots.


Created to help people with tasks around the home, these next-generation robots have enormous potential to improve the quality of life of the elderly and disabled, helping them to live more independently.


Remaining an active member of society as one grows older requires a safe and enabling environment. ISO 37101, Sustainable development in communities – Management system for sustainable development – Requirements with guidance for use, is designed to help communities make supportive choices for the social inclusion and active participation of all its citizens.


Another useful reference for community leaders is the International Workshop Agreement IWA 18, Framework for integrated community-based lifelong health and care services in aged societies. It addresses health, care and social challenges to ensure the needs of individuals continue to be met in old age.


In addition, many of ISO’s standards help to ensure that all products and services are accessible, safe and of the highest quality.


For example, one well-known standard, ISO 9001, Quality management systems – Requirements, can also be used by service providers such as care homes to give older persons and their families peace of mind.


But ISO also goes a step further by taking the needs and challenges of older adults into account in the creation of many of its standards, as outlined in ISO/IEC Guide 71, Guide for addressing accessibility in standards.


For further information about ISO and active ageing, see the ISO microsite and follow its social media campaign #activeageing.


1 October 2017.