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The House of Lords' committee find that little has been done to meet the needs of an ageing society

3rd April 2013

We must meet the needs of an ageing country.

Editorial. The Observer, 17 March 2013

By opening with a reference to the French writer and industrialist, Gaston Berger, who commented that the purpose of looking to the future was to disturb the present, this column highlighted the reality of the findings of The House of Lords’ committee on public service and demographic change that the UK is ‘woefully unprepared’ to cope with the demands of an ageing society. According to their report, by 2030 the number of people aged 65-plus will have doubled, and those over 85 years will have increased by 100%.

While living longer is ‘one of the greatest gifts…. experienced’ (Lord Filkin), it brings its own inherent problems with a corresponding increase in long-term conditions, such as diabetes, heart problems and arthritis. To date, little has been done by governments to cope with the rapid increase in older people.

The article concludes that this means that government, health and social care services need to develop new models to embrace an ageing society, seeing older people as assets rather than liabilities, and thus create a society in which generations are integrated and support one another.

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