Elderly projected to outnumber children by 2025

Fiji's permanent secretary for Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta addresses the media after the grant agreement signing yesterday. Picture: RAMA

MORE older persons are expected to be living in the country come 2025, says Dr Josefa Koroivueta, the permanent secretary for Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

Dr Koroivueta said this would pose many challenges for the country.

“Come 2050, there would be more older persons in Fiji compared to the younger generation,” he said during the signing of memorandum of understandings for the National Council of Older Persons Grant’s Agreement in Suva yesterday.

“One of the challenges is in the quality of life and the care needed to be provided for them. We need to prepare our communities for the care and support of the older persons.

“We need to be prepared in terms of the provision of mobility aids and also ensuring that infrastructure that we have are truly friendly, they will be accessible, not only the homes that we have but also the amenities around our towns and cities.”

Dr Koroivueta said people would also need to prepare themselves as the country was ageing.

“It is a time we need to prepare our country as we are ageing, at the moment it’s a pyramid where we have about 70 per cent of the population below 40 and 30 per cent above 40 and if you look at those above 60 its only 9 per cent.

“So we need to be age friendly in the holistic sense as we prepare for an ageing population, we do know women age better and longer than men.”

He also said isolation was an issue with the ageing population.