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ACAI Sets the Stage for Active Ageing in Thailand: A Beacon for Seniors Across ASEAN

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Imagine a place where the golden years truly shine, where wisdom is celebrated, and ageing is not just seen as a phase of life, but as an opportunity – welcome to the dawn of the ACAI, the Asian Centre for Active Ageing. This beacon of knowledge is set to change the game for seniors not only in Thailand but across the region, paving the way for a future that embraces every wrinkle as a badge of honor and every silver strand as a thread of wisdom.

In an era where the melody of life plays longer, the ACAI emerges as a maestro, orchestrating a symphony of policy advice, research, and innovations. It’s an initiative that sings to the tune of Thailand’s vision, under the baton of Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew and the strategic ensemble of ACAI’s management committee, with Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasert playing the key notes.

This crescendo of ageing grace is more relevant now than ever as Southeast Asia witnesses a significant demographic shift towards an older population. It’s a change that strums the strings of healthcare, economics, societies, and the very fabric of the environment. Thailand, with its quicksilver speed towards becoming one of the world’s fastest ageing nations, takes center stage in this narrative, boasting 12 million souls over 60 among its 67 million-strong population. The land of smiles is on the brink of becoming a super-aged society with a forecast that predicts 28% of its populace will be aged 60 and above in the next decade.

In a region where the wisdom of elders is a treasure, six ASEAN nations, including giants like Singapore and Thailand, along with Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar, have stepped into the ‘ageing phase’. It’s a testament to the changing times and the shared vision of these countries for their elder citizens, a vision that was sealed with an agreement among all 10 member states on a memorable day – May 20th, last year, earmarking Thailand as the host for the ACAI.

The Department of Medical Services (DMS), Department of International Health, and Office of the Permanent Secretary are joining forces to provide ACAI with the necessary support – from manpower and budget to location. The ACAI office is set to shine on the third floor of the DMS’s Innovation and Health Technology for the Elderly Building, promising a bright future ahead.

With the Thai government pledging an annual budget of up to US$5 million (177.1 million baht) for the next five years, the stage is set for the ACAI to flourish. This investment is not just in numbers; it’s an investment in hope, in innovation, and in a society that sees ageing not as a sunset but as a beautiful dawn. So, here’s to the ACAI, a lighthouse guiding us towards a future where ageing is active, engaged, and more vibrant than ever. Let the golden years begin.


  1. Tommy G March 11, 2024

    While the ACAI sounds like a fantastic initiative, I can’t help but wonder about the practicalities of implementing such large-scale changes. Are cultural attitudes towards aging and elderly care ready for such a transition in all ASEAN countries?

    • JennyLovesTech March 11, 2024

      That’s a valid point, Tommy. Adjusting cultural attitudes is indeed a huge barrier, but don’t you think that initiatives like ACAI can act as catalysts for change?

      • Tommy G March 11, 2024

        Sure, Jenny, they can act as catalysts. But without grassroots-level education and engagement, it’s like planting seeds in unfertile land.

      • Sector9 March 11, 2024

        I disagree, Tommy. The very establishment of ACAI is proof that there’s fertile ground. It could actually help in changing cultural attitudes by providing a successful model.

    • HealthPolicyNerd March 11, 2024

      Considering the rapid pace at which Thailand and other ASEAN countries are aging, initiatives like ACAI are not just welcome but necessary. It’s better to start now and adjust along the way. Cultural readiness will come with awareness and exposure.

  2. RetireeRon March 11, 2024

    As someone in their golden years, the idea of a center focused on active aging is heartwarming. However, I’m curious how accessible these services will be for the average senior, especially those in rural areas.

    • SarahK March 11, 2024

      That’s an important consideration, Ron. Accessibility is key. Hopefully, ACAI will implement programs that reach out beyond urban centers.

      • RetireeRon March 11, 2024

        Fingers crossed, Sarah. My hope is that it doesn’t become something that’s only beneficial for a select few.

  3. EconWatcher March 11, 2024

    This initiative is incredibly short-sighted. Throwing money at the problem without a detailed plan on how sustainability and effectiveness will be monitored is just wasteful.

    • OptimistPrime March 11, 2024

      I think you’re missing the point, EconWatcher. Investment in aging is investment in the future. The benefits might not be immediately quantifiable, but they’re crucial for long-term social and economic stability.

      • EconWatcher March 11, 2024

        OptimistPrime, while I appreciate your perspective, without metrics and clear objectives, how do we measure success? It feels like a feel-good initiative rather than a strategic plan.

      • FutureFocused March 11, 2024

        But isn’t the first step towards solving any issue recognizing it and beginning somewhere? I believe ACAI is that first step and will evolve with time.

  4. JoannaS March 11, 2024

    Initiatives like the ACAI are essential in changing the narrative around aging. It’s refreshing to see aging being approached as an opportunity rather than a burden.

    • CynicCal March 11, 2024

      Changing the narrative is all well and good, but what about the hard facts and figures? How do we measure the success of such initiatives in real, tangible benefits?

  5. SilverFox March 11, 2024

    Finally, a step in the right direction for acknowledging and respecting the wisdom that comes with age. I hope ACAI lives up to its promise and truly benefits the elder population across ASEAN.

  6. GreenThumbGina March 11, 2024

    It’s great seeing initiatives like this, but what about the environmental impact? Aging populations require resources. I hope ACAI plans include sustainable practices.

    • EcoWarrior March 11, 2024

      Valid point, Gina. Sustainability should be at the heart of such projects. Aging populations could strain natural resources if not managed with environmental concerns in mind.

      • GreenThumbGina March 11, 2024

        Exactly, EcoWarrior. We can’t overlook the environmental aspect, even in such beneficial initiatives.

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