Last week, two new international standards aimed at enhancing the quality of life for older people were approved by ISO (International Standardization Organisation).

The standards were unanimously backed following four years of international collaboration with the UK committee being led by its volunteer Chair, Paul Newman, Chief Executive of Greensleeves Care.

‘A framework for dementia-inclusive communities’ and ‘General requirements and guidelines for an age-inclusive workforce’ join the existing ‘General requirements and guidelines for carer-inclusive organizations’ as the pioneering standards to be developed under the Ageing Societies banner.

The work brings together international experts from academia, industry and the public sector, who are committed to improving the quality of life for older people across the globe.

In addition to representing the UK overseas and coordinating UK input to all of the standards, Newman personally drafted sections and edited the final version of the dementia standard.

Newman said:

“In addition to my professional experience of supporting people living with dementia at Greensleeves Care, I have had to do this in a personal capacity for my family and have been dismayed at how local communities do not make small adjustments to ensure their neighbourhoods are dementia-inclusive and people living with dementia can retain their independence for longer.

Society needs to do better. This framework is the first, officially accredited standard to address this challenge and will make life easier for people living with dementia and their families, wherever they live around the world.”

Britta Berge, International Chair of the ISO Ageing Societies Committee and based in Washington DC, said:

“What a great way to start the New Year. I would like to thank Paul for his hard work and leadership throughout this process.”

The two new standards will be published this Spring and are available from the BSI (British Standards Institution) and ISO.