Ageing population poses challenge

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Published: Saturday 17th January 2015 by The News Editor

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The ageing population is seen to be one of the top three challenges facing UK society over the next 20 years.

Only healthcare and immigration were viewed as a greater concern in the YouGov poll commissioned by Independent Age which explored the support needs among over 65-year-olds.

Of 2,421 UK adults questioned, 79% said they thought the ageing population will present a large challenge for the UK.

Some 63% said physical health was among the greatest concern they had about their friends and relatives who were aged over 65, while 48% said mobility levels and 46% felt that loneliness and isolation would be an issue.

Independent Age chief executive Janet Morrison said: “It’s important that people have recognised the country’s ageing population as one of the most important issues facing our society and acknowledge it is one that will only continue to grow over the next two decades.

“These findings suggest that as a nation there is a need to form a coherent approach to ageing and older age to ensure it is not experienced with fear, but positivity and optimism.”

George McNamara, of the Alzheimer’s Society, suggested there is a need for a minister for older people around the Cabinet table.

He said: “The fact that people are living longer due to advances in medical research and public health is something to be celebrated. However, as age is the greatest risk factor for dementia in many ways this means it’s become a victim of its own success.

“Numbers of people with dementia are soaring but the health and social care system is still not geared up to best provide for them. With hospitals under immense pressure it is clear more of the same will not work. We need bold reform bringing together health and social care and an end to cuts to community care and support.”

Published: Saturday 17th January 2015 by The News Editor

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