The Future of Age

Jul 16, 2010 | REPORTS

This report summarises a public debate on the “Future of Age”

Across the world we are living longer and seeing growth in the numbers of older old. Simply taking into account demographic change, we will see more people with a need for long term care and more people with dementia.

We are also seeing structural change in society, with more people living alone, higher divorce rates and increasing levels of childlessness.

Our expectations of health services are changing alongside the development of new drugs and technologies. How we pay for health with these changes is a major challenge.

We live in a fast changing world. 134 years ago the first two way phone call was made. It took until 2000 for half of the world to own a phone, yet by 2007 half of the world owned a mobile phone. And whilst it took 75 years for telephones to reach 50 million users, it only took four years for the internet to reach a similar number. Technology is changing the way we live and our relationship to society.

Meanwhile, climate change and other environmental challenges pose serious threats for society and will impact on all of us.

These changes will have a significant impact on our economy and society as a whole. Questions considered during the debate included:

* How society is likely to change over the next 5-10 years?
* What will be the economic impact of these changes?
* How will the changing world impact on people across the life course?
* How do we (and society as a whole) need to change to meet the challenges of the next ten years and beyond?
* How well prepared are we to tackle the challenges ahead?
* What new opportunities will come over the next ten years and how can we ensure we capitalise on them?
* Are there simple solutions to some of the challenges or are we likely to need fundamental structural/policy change?