It’s time for an Ageing Society New Deal
We’ve become accustomed to our ageing population being presented as a bad thing. Dangerous rhetoric suggesting older people are disposable has become far too common – particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as countries across the world are ageing, we need to stop seeing older people as a problem and start seeing them as part of the solution.
Older people’s social and economic contributions are already significant, but there’s potential to increase this further. The barriers they face are in part avoidable – and the most important is poor health.
Especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, older people have been disproportionately locked out of working, spending, caring and volunteering.
In our global post-COVID recovery, we can aspire to do more than plaster over the cracks. We can build better, more pro-active health systems and invest in ageing while fuelling immediate economic recovery and increasing our resilience.
Now is the time to redouble our efforts.
We propose an Ageing Society New Deal to address this. We are calling for G20 countries to commit to developing country-level strategies for ageing which include specific commitments around:
1. Investing in health and recognising its economic value
- Increase spending on preventing poor health at all ages
- Tackle health inequalities
- Factor in health and inclusion when measuring economic growth
2. Supporting work in an ageing and changing world
- Incentivise employers and technology providers to redesign working life
- Support and empower all generations to have fulfilling and longer working lives
- Invest in lifelong learning
3. Recognising and helping to realise the opportunities created by the longevity economy
- Support the health and care economy, in recognition of its economic value
- Support businesses servicing older people
- Reduce barriers to spending in local communities
4. Recognising and supporting unpaid contributions
- Recognise and measure unpaid contributions
- Support informal carers and involved grandparents
- Enable and incentivise volunteering at all ages
If you would like to sign this statement, please contact Liam Hanson.
This statement has been signed by: