Charities, government and businesses need a “radical rethink” to support older people, the Centre for Ageing Better has said.
In a report, called The State of Ageing in 2019, the charity said that the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to increase by 44 per cent by 2037. It said that the ageing population will have effects on health, services and public spending, and called upon the charity sector and government to tackle these issues.
It said: “Without fundamental changes in society, the challenges faced by increasing numbers of older people will have dire consequences for the NHS, care services and for public spending.”
The report also noted that problems among the elderly are exacerbated among the poorest of this group.
It said that 68 per cent of people aged 70 and over who cannot access services cannot due to poor health. And it suggested that charities should take more steps to create services to help reduce isolation and support the community.
“Local government, businesses and partners in the voluntary and community sector need to create communities that make it easier to stay active and connected. This will require support for community activities that are inclusive and accessible to us regardless of age or disability. Transport and the design of our towns and cities can enable us to get out and about, or it can create barriers, especially for those with health conditions and disabilities,” the report said.
It also encouraged more volunteering opportunities be made available for older people, who are more likely to be out of work than younger generations.
The report said: “The fact that we are living longer is a great achievement. But making the most of these extra years requires fundamental changes across society. Without a radical rethink from the government, businesses and charities, more people risk missing out on a good later life. There is much to gain if we take action now, but also much to lose if we fail.”