Although populations around the world are rapidly ageing, evidence that increasing longevity is being accompanied by an extended period of good health is scarce. A coherent and focused public health response that spans multiple sectors and stakeholders is urgently needed. To guide this global response, WHO has released the first World report on ageing and health, reviewing current knowledge and gaps and providing a public health framework for action. The report is built around a redefinition of healthy ageing that centres on the notion of functional ability: the combination of the intrinsic capacity of the individual, relevant environmental characteristics, and the interactions between the individual and these characteristics. This Health Policy highlights key findings and recommendations from the report.