Preventing ill health key in unlocking longevity dividend

  • In 2017 alone, 27.1 million years were lived with disability due to largely preventable diseases, and this number is projected to increase by 17% over the next 25 years.
  • 1 million of the 11.5 million people in the UK aged 50-64 are economically inactive due to involuntary early labour market exits, largely resulting from health and care needs or caring responsibilities.
  • Shirley Cramer CBE, Royal Society of Public Health: “Government, employers, families and local communities must all play their part if we are to support those entering and living through later life to be healthy, skilled and active members of society.”

At the ILC’s (International Longevity Centre UK) Future of Ageing conference tomorrow, experts will discuss the importance of preventative health care in ensuring population ageing is a boost for UK plc.

A new report (Maximising the longevity dividend) to be launched at the ILC’s conference tomorrow will highlight the increasingly significant contribution of older people to productivity. It will reveal that by 2040, the earned income generated by people aged 50 and over may account for 40% of total earnings – up from 23% in 2004 and 30% in 2018. Moreover, by 2028, more people aged 60 and over may work part-time than any other age group except for people aged under 30.

However, previous ILC research revealed that about 1 million of the 11.5 million people in the UK aged 50-64 are currently economically inactive due to involuntary labour market exits, largely resulting from health and care needs or caring responsibilities.

In 2017 alone, 27.1 million years were lived with disability due to largely preventable disease, and this number is projected to increase by 17% within the next 25 years, according to ILC research.

At the ILC’s Future of Ageing conference on 5 December, key thought leaders Professor David Bloom from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Public Health will discuss how society could reap a longevity dividend by investing in preventative health interventions, including early screening, vaccinations, preventative medicine and support with long-term conditions.

 

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Public Health will argue:

“Too often the story we tell ourselves about the UK’s ageing population descends into catastrophe rhetoric – witness the so-called ‘silver tsunami’ and ‘cliff-edge retirement’.  We have got this the wrong way around: in fact, it is only by capitalising on the positive opportunities presented by an ageing population that we can address some of the key challenges of the 21st century.”

“Government, employers, families and local communities must all play their part if we are to support those entering and living through later life to be healthy, skilled and active members of society. For such a longevity strategy to succeed, it is clear that prevention must be at the absolute heart.”

 

Prof David Bloom, Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will argue:

“The prospect of a longevity dividend is attractive but will not come to pass without an integrated set of policy, technological, and behavioral adaptions. Prominent among these will be increased attention to strategies aimed at preventing the onset or progression of disease.”

 

Also speaking at the conference, Dr Susan Thomas, EY will argue:

“In order to maximise the value of living longer we need businesses and governments to create incentives that enable the shift from reactive disease management to proactive disease prevention.”

“Society needs to embrace new technologies and approaches that can shift the cost trajectory of ageing — and realise the value of health as a long-term societal asset, not just a near-term cost.”

 

ILC Chief Executive Baroness Sally Greengross OBE will conclude:

“Longevity is one of our greatest success stories. However, for too many, poor health continues to be a barrier to working, spending and participating in society in later life.”

“If we are to realise the benefits that longer lives can bring, governments and health systems need an ambitious agenda to support people to keep active, productive and engaged for longer. Without proper governmental support and action, longevity could impose a huge economic burden. We have the agency to transform this challenge into an opportunity.”

 

Notes

For press queries, please contact Lily Parsey at LilyParsey@ilcuk.org.uk or 0207 340 0440.

The Future of Ageing conference will be held on Thursday, 5 December at the Wellcome Collection in London. To view the full agenda, please visit: http://futureofageing.org.uk

Alongside the conference, ILC will be launching new research on the economic opportunities of longevity for the UK.

There are limited journalist passes available for the conference. To apply, please get in touch with Lily Parsey at LilyParsey@ilcuk.org.uk

The “Opportunity of Health” session has been sponsored by Pfizer Limited.

ILC is currently running an international programme of work on Prevention in an ageing world. To find out more about our upcoming global launch event on 28 February 2020, or any materials, please visit: http://preventionageingworld.org/

 

About ILC

The ILC is the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society, and what happens next.

We believe society has to adapt now so we can all enjoy the benefits of longevity.

We want a society that works for everyone, regardless of their age.

We know the numbers. We know the challenges. What happens next will define us for generations.