Age needs one voice. Now it has:
Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern England and
Help the Aged in England.
How we think is who we are.
Our mind - how we think - is at the core of our being. It gives us our identity; it’s responsible for the way we relate to the world around us. So it’s not surprising that losing our thinking skills as we age - known as cognitive impairment - is one of our greatest fears as we age.
Loss of cognitive abilities is the single biggest reason why older people lose their independence and need 24 hour care. Sadly, over 1 million of us over the age of 65 in the UK have some degree of cognitive impairment and the number is expected to grow. Society will be increasingly unable to bear the huge scale of the cost of care, which is set to top £16 billion by 2031. We want to turn the tide of this devastating condition.
Yet it need not be a foregone conclusion that we have to lose our cognitive abilities as we age.
That’s why Age UK supports The Disconnected Mind, a once-in-a-lifetime project led by Professor Ian Deary at the University of Edinburgh, to discover why and how our thinking skills change with age and what we can do to minimize these changes in ageing.
In June 1947, every 11 year old school child in Scotland - over 70,000 of them - took the Scottish Mental Survey, a test that measured their cognitive abilities in a consistent and replicable way. No other country anywhere in the world has tested an entire nation in this way since.
Professor Deary has access to the results of these tests and 1,000 of the children – now adults in their 70’s – are helping him in his project. By taking the same test again at age 70, 73 and 76 and contributing exhaustive information about their lifestyle, health, genetics and biology, they are allowing him to understand cognitive ageing.
Because the 1947 test results are unique and the volunteers are willing to go through repeated testing, this project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand how cognitive ability changes throughout life and during ageing itself.
As a result, we will know what we can do ourselves to protect our thinking skills as we age and what education and health care professionals need to do to provide the best support for healthy cognitive ageing and for everyone in later life struggling to cope with the effects of cognitive decline.
This project is an unparalleled opportunity. It’s tackling one of the biggest health challenges that we face this century. Help us find the solutions.
To make a donation to The Disconnected Mind, call now on 0800 169 87 87
Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.
If you donate to Age UK, we guarantee that as members of the FRSB, you can give with confidence and that your money will be used honestly and properly.
Age UK, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA. Registered charity number 1128267. Company number 6825798. © Age UK Group and/or its National Partners (Age NI, Age Scotland and Age Cymru) 2014. All Rights Reserved
Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily
To see information relating to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales set your preference below: