Functional ability relates to a person’s capacity to meet their basic needs, make decisions, build relationships and contribute to society.
Research from the World Health Organization states that between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%. While population aging is known in Japan, which features 30% of its population over 60 years old, developing countries are now experiencing the most significant change. Closer to home, statistics from Jamaica’s population census demonstrated that between 2001 and 2011 the over 60-year old population increased by 15.3% while the total population increased by just 3.5%.
The United Nations Assembly declared the years 2021 to 2030 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing. It aims to create healthy environments and opportunities that enable older people to fulfill their potential in dignity and equality. As a proactive step, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has promoted the International Accreditation of Competences in Health Care for Older Persons (ACAPEM) for health professionals.