Universal health coverage is the foundation for achieving the health objective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To achieve this SDG, older people’s health- and social-care needs must be addressed in an integrated manner and with continuity of care over the long term. The WHO Strategy and action plan on ageing and health (http://www.who.int/ageing/global-strategy/en/) outlines the role of health systems in promoting healthy ageing by optimizing intrinsic capacity.
In October 2017, the WHO published Integrated care for older people: Guidelines on community-level interventions to manage declines in intrinsic capacity (http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/ 258981). These guidelines set out 13 evidence-based recommendations for care providers to help develop and carry out person-centered integrated care for older people at the community level. The ICOPE approach embodies the focus on optimizing intrinsic capacities and functional abilities as key to healthy ageing.
The primary intended audience for this handbook is health- and social-care providers working in the community and in primary health-care settings. The guidance should also inform health-care providers whose specialized knowledge will be called on, as needed, to assess and to plan care for people with loss in intrinsic capacities.
Additionally, professionals responsible for developing training in medicine, nursing and allied health and
public health fields may draw on both the concepts and the practical approaches described here. Other audiences include health-care managers and policy-makers, such as national, regional and district program managers in charge of planning and organizing health-care services, as well as agencies that fund and/or carry out public health program and non-governmental organizations and charities that serve older people in community settings.