For Pfizer, helping people age well is both a business priority and a social responsibility. Our efforts in this regard — from supporting age-friendly cities to taking on non-communicable diseases in the developing world to continually evolving our groundbreaking Get Old campaign — help to inspire individuals, strengthen communities and further our position as innovators in health and wellness.
Pfizer is helping support age-friendly cities with community-based programs across the world, specifically in Ireland, France and the French-speaking regions of the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.
Age-Friendly Ireland continues to work on embedding a sustainable network of age-friendly towns (currently, 22) across
Ireland. To enable towns to become age-friendly, the program has successfully created a toolkit and appendix of templates and examples of
age-friendly town methodologies. There has been particular interest in the
walkability audit and the
on street survey as stand-alone
modules. A related suite of videos describes the age-friendly enabling process and how it has been used successfully. Other efforts in
2015 focused on encouraging older adults to take lead roles in enhancing their communities, creating an Age Impact Assessment tool/checklist
appropriate to the Irish environment, and promoting the benefits of a multi-stakeholder approach in municipal planning.
This French network of age-friendly cities, known by its French acronym RFVAA, focuses on creating and sustaining age-friendly
communities throughout France and French-speaking regions of the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, with support from the Pfizer Foundation.1 In
2015, all cities affiliated with the RFVAA network were invited to apply for the initial Age-friendly Cities Award, launched by RFVAA and the
association Efferve'Sens to recognize efforts to reduce isolation. There were 55 applicants. RFVAA continues to promote the need for and value
of age-friendly cities through its national communications platform and recognition events, while collaborating on practical policy advances
and providing workshops and analyses that help seniors to become advocates for their own community needs. RFVAA and the University of Burgundy
have signed a CIFRE (Convention of Industrial Research through Training) convention to support research by postgraduate students of the
University, to be conducted over a period of three years, on the theme of
adapting French society to the issue of aging and the contribution
of age-friendly cities to their elderly citizens with an eye towards integration, combating discrimination, and public policy. In 2016,
Efferve'Sens plans to launch a widely applied research program.
(1) The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions.
HelpAge International and Pfizer have worked together since 2012 to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among older
people in Tanzania. During its first two years, the initiative focused on raising awareness among older people and health providers,
contributing to the Government of Tanzania's efforts to provide appropriate health services to older citizens. NCDs included in the
scope of the initiative consist of chronic conditions that include cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, as well
as Alzheimer's and other dementias. They are commonly thought of as
diseases of affluence, whereas, in reality, four-fifths of deaths
from NCDs are in low- and middle-income countries, and older people in developing countries are particularly at risk. Prevention through
an active and healthy lifestyle can turn some of these debilitating diseases into manageable conditions.
Ongoing HelpAge project work focuses on developing an intergenerational approach to health messaging and strengthening community-based initiatives such as active aging groups. These initiatives stress the role of healthy lifestyles in preventing and managing NCDs; facilitate collaborations with health providers at local and national levels to improve prevention, early diagnosis, follow-up and treatment of NCDs; and help improve data collection and analyses to inform appropriate policies. Community-based activities are being carried out in the Kibaha district. At the national level, the project supports health advocacy that includes curriculum reform, increasing access to essential NCD drugs, and working with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to improve health information management.
HelpAge has developed a robust tool to monitor healthy aging and well-being in older age in a broad range of contexts. Building on current field-testing in Bolivia, Colombia and Tanzania, the Health Outcomes Tool is now being tested in India and in Uganda. Defining and measuring healthy aging poses a significant challenge. As people age, a progressively delicate balance has to be struck between medicalizing care (when appropriate) to extend life, managing symptoms and disabilities, and maintaining or improving autonomy and quality of life. HelpAge believes that the new tool could address shortcomings of existing measurement tools and enable a redefinition of health outcomes in older age by focusing on health status and functional ability of older people as well as their access to health services.
Pfizer and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world's largest humanitarian network, have joined forces to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The project leverages our respective expertise and resources in three areas: to further disseminate the IFRC's 4HealthyHabits tools for NCD prevention, to develop and test evidence-based tools to support healthy and active aging at the community level, and to advocate jointly for NCD prevention and control and for healthy and active aging.
Healthy aging is incorporated into the IFRC 2016–2020 strategic plan and programming, aimed at providing improved health for all communities, with a focus on underserved populations. IFRC has a consolidated vision for healthy aging, which provides a potential for additional partnerships and, therefore, increased capacity to do more and reach further in this area.
Recognizing that vaccination uptake rates for older people continue to remain well below those recommended, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) has committed to raising awareness about adult vaccinations globally in the next five years. The IFA, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) with a membership base made up of governments, NGOs, industry, academia and individuals in 70 countries, aims to educate the public and key stakeholders about how adult vaccination contributes to global public health by helping to reduce unnecessary infections and associated complications, helping to lower public health costs and hospitalizations, and supporting family caregiving.
The IFA's goal is to build and mobilize networks that comprise agencies and experts in the fields of vaccine, infectious disease, ageing and public health. Together, academia, industry and civil society are working to help influence and shape adult vaccination policies and practices worldwide. In 2015, Pfizer helped IFA begin to achieve its objectives by supporting three multi-stakeholder summits of scientists, academia and NGOs aimed at building consensus on the importance of adult immunization as part of healthy aging. The partnership is consistent with IFA's vision of achieving a world of healthy older people whose rights and choices are both protected and respected.
Get Ready. Get Set. Get Old.
Get Old continues to challenge how people think about aging and encourage them to take an active role in their health and wellness. We continue to evolve Get Old, launching new initiatives on an ongoing basis that foster and engage a community of health-activated consumers to elevate their engagement with Pfizer and, ultimately, strengthen our reputation as a company that helps people live longer, healthier lives.
Pfizer's latest Get Old campaign encourages people to embrace aging not as an end, but as a beginning — a time to fulfill old dreams and
make new ones a reality. As the 2015 graduation season closed, the campaign launched with a video that challenges perceptions about how
Commencement Day inspires people of all ages to see each day as a new beginning. The tag line,
Every day is a commencement
day. Get Ready. Get Set. Get Old., embodies the theme of cherishing milestones and challenging traditional roadmaps of when personal
experiences and achievements should occur.
Life ForecastLaunches on GetOld.com
Life Forecast takes a fun approach to
predicting future experiences based on current ages and interests — revealing everything
from how many books you might read to how much you might travel or, if you volunteer, how many hours you might give to your cause by
the time you are 100 years old. The tool serves as a reminder that there is no pre-determined age to start something new and every day
can be viewed as a new beginning and an opportunity for adventure and accomplishment.