WHO engages Western researchers to help create age-friendly communities

Jed Montayre

Researchers from Western Sydney University are conducting an important scoping review for the World Health Organisation (WHO), which will inform their efforts to improve health outcomes for the world’s ageing population.

In 2020, WHO advocated for global action to address the needs of more than 1 billion people aged 60 years or older, who do not have access to the basic resources necessary for a meaningful and dignified life.

Following a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2020, a proposal from WHO was endorsed and 2021-2030 was proclaimed as the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing.

Dr Jed Montayre, a gerontologist from the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), answered a call from the WHO and has been announced as the successful candidate.

Dr Montayre will now lead a team of researchers from Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand in a scoping review on what is required to create age-friendly communities in rural and remote areas.

“Much of the global evidence on age-friendly communities focus on urban areas – so the requirements for rural and remote areas are largely unknown,’ said Dr Montayre.

“This scoping review is an exciting opportunity – as it focuses on such an important field of gerontology that has global significance.

“Our work will directly inform the WHO report for the Decade of Healthy Ageing, and our findings in the scoping review will guide policy development and initiatives all over the world.”

Dr Montayre said the scoping review is an immense task. In as little as four months, the team will be conducting a broad search and analysis of global policy documents and government reports; sourcing data from Chinese, French and Spanish databases; and covering all languages and translations.

Dr Montayre is leading the project with Dr Jann Foster from the School of Nursing and Midwifery and colleagues from the New South Wales Centre for Evidence Based Health Care: A Joanna Briggs Institute Affiliated Group.

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