Advancing medical technology continues to extend the average human life span, resulting in population aging globally as well as in Taiwan. The challenges posed by aging society increase not only medical and care costs but also the burden on pension funds and the social welfare system. In addition, there is currently a desperate need for many well-trained health providers as well as a friendly and comprehensive long-term care system. However, attention should not simply focus on medical payments and long-term care, as this may prolong the length of unhealthy living years for the aged and further strain national finances. Holistic healthcare for the aged should be introduced as early as possible in order to respond effectively to global aging by assisting the aged to maintain their health, to live independently, and to extend their social functions. The purposes of this report are to: 1. analyze the demographic characteristics of Taiwanese older adults; 2. introduce the concept of holistic healthcare as advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO); 3. discuss the promotion of physical-psychological health and the development of age-friendly environments; 4. strengthen the framework of long-term care policies; and 5. recommend the development of a holistic healthcare model for the aged based on the WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging and Health, announced in 2016. We hope to facilitate active aging, successful aging, self-esteem, and a high quality of life for the elderly in Taiwan.
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