The third age has been defined as “the period in life of active retirement, following middle age” in which we need better health quality opportunities.
In developed countries, they found that, although life expectancy is increasing, this was not necessarily spent in good health. In their analysis they found that the fastest‐growing leading causes of health loss were diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and diseases of the sense organs, such as vision and hearing loss.
Besides the illnesses connected with ageing today, the focus in healthcare is how the system can deliver care to those who are in relatively good health, but are impaired by a chronic condition, such as rheumatism, weak heart function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, involuntay falls, lower back and neck pain, skin diseases and similar.
One of the solutions could be that strong relationships of trust are developed between these „third age citizens“ in relatively good health but with chronic conditions and countries that have not only undisputable quality professional resources but also ideal complementary environmental surroundings that can be offered and used in the interest and benefits of all.
Administrative obstacles, although present, should not create a block for such solutions. Financial benefits are there for all sides, too – for a developed country healthcare system, for an incoming country economy connected with health tourism and, the most importantly, for a citizen who would like to spend a part of the year in a place where the healthcare provided will improve her/his condition and wil also bring fresh, new experiences in a different locality.
The opportunity is there for providers in destinations such as Croatia, such as rehabilitation clinics and centres, to develop the health and wellness tourism sector and meet the chronic rather than acute healthcare needs of an ageing population.