28 Sep 2010

Call for action in Fiji to cope with aging population

1:24 pm on 28 September 2010

Fiji's interim Minister for Social Welfare says action needs to be taken now to ensure elderly people can be adequately cared for in the future.

Dr Jiko Luveni says it's projected that by 2050, about one in every four persons will be 60 years or older and about four percent of Fiji's population will be 80 years or older.

She says this will have huge implications on the country's limited resources and services.

She says areas of concern include social security for older people, a possible growth in elder abuse, sufficient pension support, as well as increased demands on the health sector.

"These are some challenges that we are facing as the elderly increase, that there will be a demand for some specialised health services, particularly relating to degenerative disases and disabilities. And we're also looking at institutional care that there may be an increase in demand for these."

Dr Jiko Luveni says the interim government is making progress on a National Policy Framework for the Elderly to improve their living, health and welfare .