In Sweden the average life expectancy has never been as high as it is currently. In 2014 the average life expectancy was 84.1 years for women and 80.4 for men. For several decades the increase in average life expectancy has been driven by lower mortality in middle age and pensionable age. One of the assignments of the Public Health Agency of Sweden is to promote the health of the elderly.
Healthy ageing is a lifelong process which starts when we are born. How we feel as we get older depends on factors which have affected us throughout our life. By means of health-promoting and preventative initiatives, it is possible to both extend human life and improve quality of life. Healthy ageing should be viewed as a process where the opportunities of physical, social and mental health are optimised, so that the elderly can participate actively in society and enjoy an independent life with good quality of life without being discriminated against due to age. Health-promoting and disease prevention initiatives from both society and the individual can improve quality of life and also contribute to lower social costs of care and nursing.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden works to promote health and prevent diseases. We do this by monitoring the health status of the population and analysing underlying factors. The work of the Agency on healthy ageing mainly comprises the third age, i.e. when you have left working life but before you become dependent on the help of others for your daily life.