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Future of aging: 5 trends to follow

Future of Aging Summit brings together global thought leaders, changemakers in a call to action

A rapidly aging population is among the myriad of challenges and opportunities facing societies today. From May 15 to 17, RTOERO will bring experts from nine countries and five continents together for a global dialogue on this urgent issue at the Future of Aging Summit in Toronto, Canada. Here are five future of aging themes in focus at the summit.

1) Redesigning workplaces and rethinking retirement policies

In an era defined by demographic transformations, prolonged life expectancy, and evolving job landscapes, there is an urgent need for innovative approaches to safeguard financial futures. Despite living and working longer than ever, many older workers face challenges maintaining and progressing in their careers. Jurisdictions must also reassess pension systems to ensure they are equipped to support an aging populace.

Future of Aging Summit sessions:

  • Rethinking retirement policies: Paying for our future with Don Ezra, Retirement Expert and Author, and Theo Kocken, Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Finance, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Employment and workforce participation: The silver workforce with Shruti Singh, Senior Economist, Skills and Employment Division, OECD

2) Healthcare for aging populations

As the global population of individuals aged 65 years and older steadily increases, the importance of innovative approaches to healthcare service delivery and financing cannot be overstated. One critical innovation is developing home and community-based long-term care services. Canada trails behind other OECD countries regarding investment in these essential services. Conversely, Norway stands out for a well-established health service, having recently introduced significant reforms to its tax-based system.

Future of Aging Summit sessions:

  • Health care for aging populations: Better health, better aging with Terje P. Hagen, Department of Health Economics and Health Management, University of Oslo
  • Long-term care: Transforming LTCs with Carolyn Cooper, Aged Care Commissioner, New Zealand

3) Impact of inequity on healthy aging

Older adults are not a homogenous group. Discussions around ageism often exclude people from different racial, ethnic and gender groups who face various forms of discrimination over their entire lifespan. Discrimination across the lifespan can accelerate aging. A comprehensive focus on healthy aging must start early in life.

Future of Aging Summit sessions:

  • Ageism and discrimination: start here, start now with Karen D. Lincoln, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health and Director of the Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research in the Program in Public Health at the University of California, Irvine
  • Why older adults need advocates panel discussion with:
    • Susan Walsh, Senior’s Advocate, Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Carolyn Cooper, Aged Care Commissioner, New Zealand
    • Karen D. Lincoln, Director of the Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research, University of California, Founding Director of Advocates for African American Elders, Los Angeles, U.S.A

4) Age-tech

Age-tech is assistive technology that can improve the lives of older adults. There’s promising evidence of its use to support aging in place and enhance institutional care. But it brings ethical issues, too. Switzerland stands out as a leader in this area, with technology as a focus area as part of a national interdisciplinary project focused on aging.

Future of Aging Summit session:

  • Science, technology and aging: Finding solutions through age-tech with Sabina Misoch, Head of the Institute for Research (IAF), Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences (OST)

5) Community redesign for highly aged societies

Our cities and neighbourhoods were primarily constructed when average life expectancy was significantly lower than today’s. And as climate change leads to worse and more frequent natural disasters, we must ensure emergency planning efforts explicitly account for our most vulnerable populations.

Future of Aging Summit sessions:

  • Age-friendly communities: Redesigning communities for a highly-aged society with Professor Hiroko Akiyama, professor emeritus and visiting professor at the Institute of Gerontology and Institute for Future Initiatives, University of Tokyo
  • Climate change, emergency and older adults: Not leaving anyone behind with Carole Osero-Ageng’o, Global Initiatives Lead and Africa Regional representative, HelpAge International and advocate at the High Court of Kenya

Not only a gathering but a call to action

The Future of Aging Summit is designed for policymakers, researchers, engineers, designers, planners, community organizers, advocates, and anyone else focused on supporting healthy aging, ending ageism and building age-friendly societies. In addition to the breakout sessions highlighted above and others, the summit features:

  • Film screening of Your 100-year life followed by a Q&A session with the film director Theo Kocken. 
  • Three keynote sessions:
    • Aging: Looking in the future with Ritu Sadana,  head of ageing and health, World Health Organization
    • From grassroots advocacy to systemic change with DY Suharya, regional director, Alzheimer’s Disease International, Asia Pacific Region and Founder of Alzheimer’s Indonesia
    • Reframing aging narratives with Tomson Highway, award-winning author, playwright, pianist and composer, Cree elder and social worker
  • Interactive co-design and solution mapping session with Jordana Globerman, graphic facilitator and strategy, user experience (UX) and service designer

Limited spaces remain. Registration rates are intentionally affordable, thanks to summit sponsors Johnson Inc., Chartwell and HearingLife.

Register at