Sydney professor recognised by UN as global leader in ageing

30 September 2022
Professor Yun-Hee Jeon named in UN's 'Healthy Ageing 50'

The UN's Healthy Ageing 50 recognises 50 leaders who are transforming the world into a better place to grow old. Professor Yun-Hee Jeon is one of only three Australians named.

A new United Nations (UN) Decade of Healthy Ageing initiative was announced this year, seeking to name and honour 50 leaders working to transform the world into a better place to grow older.

The Healthy Ageing 50 is an initiative supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and the World Economic Forum (the Forum).

Professor Yun-Hee Jeon

Professor Yun-Hee Jeon has been recognised as part of the Healthy Ageing 50 for her work across various research initiatives. Including participatory and advocacy programs with older persons that aim to improve the quality of life for individuals as they age and for her role in leading improvements in Australia's health and aged care sectors. 

Deputy Executive Dean (Projects) at the Faculty of Medicine and Health and Acting Head of School and Dean, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery Professor Donna Waters said:

“This is a fantastic achievement and a well-deserved recognition for Yun-Hee. As the Susan and Isaac Wakil Professor of Healthy Ageing, we are incredibly proud of Yun-Hee’s important contributions to dementia and healthy ageing research at the University of Sydney,

“We are confident that the outcomes of her research will continue to positively influence healthy ageing into the future.”

Ageing populations are a worldwide phenomenon. People now live, on average, 20 years longer compared to 50 years ago. However, the opportunities that these extra years provide are heavily dependent on healthy ageing.

Healthy ageing is not merely the absence of disease but the creation of supportive environments, opportunities, and policies that enable all people to maintain what they value throughout their lives.

Professor Jeon’s research is conducted in partnership with older persons to focus on developing innovative and creative approaches to improving the health and wellbeing of older people.

She is studying ways to improve the quality of care and service delivery for older people in care.

I am very humbled by this recognition and will take this opportunity to double my efforts to address ageism and ensure older people receive quality care and support to achieve healthy ageing.
Professor Yun-Hee Jeon

Professor Jeon has worked on developing workforce capacity in aged care and is a leader in establishing evidence and practice-based benchmarks and tools for assessment and outcome measurement in dementia care. She also explores in-depth the experiences of people with chronic illness and their carers to help inform and provide context to research and policy.

“It is an honour to be recognised by the UN and the Healthy Ageing initiative,” said Professor Jeon.

“I am very humbled by this recognition and will take this opportunity to double my efforts to address ageism and ensure older people receive quality care and support to achieve healthy ageing – being able to live as independently as possible, manage health, and maintain quality of life as they age.”

Among her innovations is the 'Step up for Dementia Research' platform, an online research 'matching' service that aims to revolutionise how people with dementia, carers and others interested in dementia research can connect directly with researchers.

This initiative has fast-tracked access between researchers and potentially interested participants for more effective and inclusive dementia research across Australia. Off the back of the platform's success, Professor Jeon will shortly be launching 'Step up for Ageing Research,' which will expand the concept into the broader field of research in ageing and aged care.

Professor Jeon is also recognised for her significant contributions to building the evidence for person-centred and reablement approaches to care, a philosophy and principle for caring that she says underpins all of her research.

Read more about her work.

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