On the ageing society in general:
Published on 09 November 2010 12:30 AM
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
'The fact that there are growing numbers of people in later life is a cause for real celebration. People past retirement age are playing a more active role in the job market and contributing to the nation's wealth for longer, as well as volunteering in large numbers within their communities.
'At the same time there are challenges and changes society needs to make to prepare for an ageing population. For example, as people are expected to work for longer, employers need to provide far more job opportunities for people in later life and remove the ageist barriers which often prevent older people getting back into work.
'We also need to invest in the sort of services which an ageing society will rely on. Our care system is already in crisis and current levels of funding are not enough to cope with increasing numbers of older people living with a range of health and support needs. We need to tackle health inequalities which create huge variation across the country in life expectancy and the NHS needs focus more on improving health outcomes for over 65s.
'But it isn't just health and social care where an age lens needs to be applied - other areas such as housing, planning and transport are all key areas where older people must be recognised so our communities are set up to include older people and their needs.
'There is no excuse for not planning ahead to ensure that health, care, pensions and other services are able to meet the needs of an ageing population.'
- ENDS -
Media contact: Hong Ling Dyer
Telephone: 020 8765 7511
Out-of-hours: 07071 243 243