A letter from the President of the IFA, Mr Bjarne Hastrup

The International Federation on Ageing would like to seize the opportunity of the Holiday season to wish all of our members, supporters and friends happy holidays, Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Your support during the year helped us on the journey to fulfill our mission of being the catalyst for positive change in the lives of older people. Thank you for your support and endorsement of our efforts, we pledge to work even more closely with you as we seek to transform our world.

This has been a year of continued growth for the IFA with initiatives such as the Diabetics Retinopathy Barometer – a completed study of almost 7,000 adults with diabetes and health care professionals from 41 countries highlights the urgent need for clear patient care pathways and robust, responsive health systems around the world to prevent unnecessary vision loss associated with diabetes. We have continued work in raising awareness of the value of a life course approach to vaccination, and specifically adult vaccination within a public health framework as a key element of healthy ageing and these efforts will continue in the new year.

Finally were very pleased to announce that the preparations for the IFA 14th Global Conference on Ageing taking place in our home city of Toronto, in August 2018 are well advanced and on track to be one of our largest gatherings in recent years. We look forward to welcoming delegates to Toronto.

We would like to also take this time to thank our partners and members with this work. We could not have succeeded without your support!

The holidays give us the opportunity to reflect and to remember that while some people enjoy reuniting with their older relatives in pleasant conditions, many inequalities remain, and too many older people’s needs are still not being met. This is why the IFA will continue working to connect experts from all sectors in an effort to help influence and shape effective age-related policies, on a global scale. It is indeed time for civil society to not only acknowledge the global population ageing and its consequences but to recognise the capacity and capability of older people and to combat the inequalities affecting them. It is essential to acknowledge the dangers of ageism, and recognise that ageing is not a negative phenomenon, but an opportunity that everyone should be able to enjoy.

We are looking forward to building our networks in 2018 and with your greatly appreciated support continue to promote older peoples’ right to a healthy, dignified and happy life. On behalf of the IFA Secretariat and the Board of Directors we wish you great prosperity in 2018.