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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume V, Economics of Wellbeing by Cary L. Cooper, David McDaid

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10

Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Older People

Making an Economic Case

A-La Park and David McDaid

London School of Economics and Political Science, U.K.

Anna K. Forsman

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finland and Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Sweden

Kristian Wahlbeck

Finnish Association for Mental Health, Finland

Introduction

This chapter focuses on the wellbeing of older people. It looks at what is known about some of the economic impacts of poor wellbeing in older age, as well as the potential economic benefits of better wellbeing. It then identifies effective actions that may be taken to promote and protect the wellbeing of people over the age of 55 and reflects on what is known about their cost-effectiveness.

The chapter draws on a range of sources including previous systematic reviews of the effectiveness of different health-promoting interventions (Forsman, Nordmyr, & Wahlbeck, 2011; Forsman, Schierenbeck, & Wahlbeck, 2011; Lee et al., 2012), guidelines on health promotion for older people, as well reviews of economic studies (McDaid & Park, 2011; Windle et al., 2008). Where any monetary values are reported in the chapter, these have been converted to 2010 U.S. dollars using the IMF World Economic Outlook Database.

Why Is Economics Relevant to the Wellbeing of Older People?

As we shall indicate, there are economic benefits that come from focusing on protecting the wellbeing of older people, given the substantial contributions that they make to ...

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