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3000 plus over 60 years

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, January 03, 2013

ABOUT 3000 people in Fiji are projected to be added on to the 60-plus age bracket.

President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said this was according to the United Nations Population Fund.

"The 'oldest old' population of 80 years and above is also expected to increase significantly over this period, from 5000 in 2010 to 28,500 by 2050," Ratu Epeli said.

He said this categorised group was projected to grow at a faster rate, about 5 per cent per year for the next 20 years.

Launching the National Awareness on Government's 2013 Initiatives for Older Persons in Fiji yesterday he said the United Nations confirmed that the proportion of old people in the world was increasing.

"The proportion of older persons is growing at a faster rate than the general population. This reflects the tremendous advances in health and the improvement in the overall quality of life in societies across the world."

However, he said social and economic implications of this trend were profound, extending far beyond the individual older person and the immediate family, and touching broader society and the global community in unprecedented ways.

"On the positive side, population ageing has opened up new markets and brought us more experienced workers — we now have, for instance, a growing cadre of custodians of our culture, and caregivers for our grandchildren."

He said a great source of experience and wisdom was also made available and if given the opportunity, they could help in areas of counselling, mentoring, in mediation processes, in being part of open and frank discussions on serious issues like HIV and AIDS, and in discussions on development plans for both rural and urban communities among others.