The report from the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change warns that the Government and our society are woefully underprepared for ageing. The Committee says that longer lives can be a great benefit, but there has been a collective failure to address the implications and without urgent action this great boon could turn into a series of miserable crises.The report covers a broad range of policy areas, providing a comprehensive analysis of the potential impact of an ageing population on public services. You can find links to videos of Lord Filkin, the Committee Chairman, addressing some of the key themes that emerged in the report below.
Longer lives represent progress, but as well as opportunities, the changes involved create major challenges for individuals, for employers, for our welfare services, and for the Government and all political parties
England will see a 51% rise in those aged 65+ and a 101% increase in those aged 85+ from 2010 to 2030. This increase in the number of older people will have a profound impact on a wide range of public services
To make a success of the demographic shifts, major changes are needed in our attitudes to ageing. Many people will want or need to work for longer. Do we need to rethink what ‘old’ means? Do attitudes to retirement need to change?
Many people are not saving enough, and the Government must work to improve defined contribution pensions, which are seriously inadequate for many. People need help to make better use of the wealth tied up in their property to support their longer lives
Radical changes to the way that health and social care is delivered are needed to provide appropriate care and to address future demand. The quality of healthcare for older people is not good enough now; social care and its funding are already in crisis
How can housing provision meet the needs of the ageing population? How should the private and public sectors respond to the challenge?
How can Government and public services react to an ageing population in a way that takes account of questions of fairness, both within and between generations?
An ageing society affects everyone: these issues require open debate and leadership. No Government so far has had a vision and coherent strategy; the current Government are no exception and are not doing enough to ensure our country is ready for ageing
The Public Service and Demographic Change Committee's Report:
See the oral and written evidence submitted to the Committee over the course of the inquiry:
Different areas will see different rates of demographic change. These tables show the predicted increase in the number of people aged 65+ and 85+ in English regions between 2010 and 2030.