Iran’s elderly population growing

iranian peopleTehran, March 9, IRNA – Based on the National Population and Housing Census conducted in 2011, about 8.2 percent of Iran’s population are above 60 years, an official said.

Director of Health Ministry’s Office for Population Health, Family and Schools said the figure is expected to increase by 30 percent, Iran Daily reported.

Speaking in the National Congress on Health and Aging, Mohammad Esmaeil Motlaq added that special attention should be paid to changes taking place in the country’s population pattern and the faster pace of aging compared to some other countries.

The official said plans should be devised to prevent the health system from facing challenges.

‘Preserving the health of the elderly is of high importance,’ he said, adding that based on the General Population Policies notified by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2010-15), improving the quality of life is among the top priorities of the Health Ministry.

‘The cooperation of Health Ministry with other organizations is a priority for achieving the set objectives,’ he said.

Motlaq noted that prevention of problems related to aging, empowerment of the elderly and improvement of supportive services provided to them are among the main objectives of the strategic plan devised for preserving the health of the elderly.

‘Efforts will be made to pursue and develop self-care plan drawn up for the elderly, implement Health Overhaul Plan, provide the elderly with welfare facilities, conduct researches on issues related to their health and increase the knowledge of the elderly about health issues,’ he said.

Director General of the Interior Ministry’s Department for the Elderly Parisa Taheri said earlier the elderly population of 13 provinces is higher than the country’s average.

“Gilan and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces respectively have the largest elderly and youth population in the country,” she said.

The official said the elderly population of Iran is expected to increase by 30 percent in the coming decades.

“The most optimistic prediction says one per five people will be 60 years old and above,” she said.

Taheri stressed that endeavors should be made to make the elderly population more strong and dynamic.