16 February 2017
This volume provides a comprehensive view of Australia’s geographically and socially diverse ageing population, the emerging needs and challenges, the opportunities and responses to meet these needs, and how Australians can benefit from the communal and individual rewards afforded by human longevity.
Ageing in Australia: Challenges and Opportunities. O’Loughlin, Kate, Browning, Colette, Kendig, Hal (Eds.) Series: International Perspectives on Aging, Vol. 16. 2017.
31 December 2016
Two case studies were completed, for Sri Lanka and Thailand, to offer insights into policy options and directions for service developments. Both these countries in South and South-East Asia, have rapidly ageing societies with somewhat different demographic, epidemiological and health system profiles. Diabetes and Stroke management were chosen as example NCDs, with opportunities for prevention, and for acute and ongoing care across different levels of the health care system.
Yiengprugsawan V, Healy J, Kendig H (eds). 2016. Vol. 2, No. 2. World Health Organization on behalf of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, New Delhi.
The report is available on the following link:
26 August 2016
This think-piece looks to Hong Kong, whose pension infrastructure is similar to the one emerging in the UK to examine the potential impact of the UK's recent pension reforms.
Pension reforms in the UK are transforming the way that citizens, especially those who lack access to an employer funded pension scheme, save for retirement. The rollout of the Workplace Pension, rising state pension ages, and delivery of the basic State Pension have the cumulative effect of both extending pension rights to all workers and shifting risks and responsibilities from government and employers toward individuals.
This think-piece looks to Hong Kong, whose pension infrastructure is similar to the one emerging in the UK to examine the potential impact of these reforms. While pension access has indeed been made universal in Hong Kong, old age poverty remains an issue with pension replacement rates lower on average than the UK. Like their UK equivalents, many Hong Kong working poor are having to delay retirement due to lack of savings and, despite Hong Kong employers complaining of skills and labour shortages, older workers are at risk of being pushed out of work before they can afford to retire. The Hong Kong experience points to the importance of employment protections for older workers to be strengthened in tandem with pension reforms so that older workers can better plan and manage their retirements.
Author: Dr. Matt Flynn
Dr Flynn is the Director of the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce. His research interest focuses on the impact of ageing societies on the world of work. He has carried out research for the UK government and European Union and has conducted research in the UK, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong. He is currently leading an ESRC study which applying the Capabilities Approach to work to retirement transitions as well as a study for the Trades Union Congress on the impact of the abolition of the default retirement age on older workers.
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06 March 2015
Singapore is rapidly ageing as a society. In 2013, the resident population in Singapore aged 65 and over comprised more than 10% of the population. As a result of declines in fertility and increases in life expectancy, the proportion of older adults will increase to 19% by 2030.
This report, ‘A Profile of Older Men and Women in Singapore 2014’, prepared by the Tsao-NUS Ageing Research Initiative, National University of Singapore and the International Longevity Centre Singapore is a compilation of data from the Panel on Health and Aging of Older Singaporeans (PHASE, Duke-NUS, NUS), Singapore Department of Statistics Census of Population 2000 and 2010; Singapore Registry of Births and Deaths 2006; Singapore Department of Statistics General Household Survey 2005; Singapore Ministry of Manpower Report on the Labor Force in Singapore 2010; and the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat along with brief analyses of key patterns.
This report is organised into six sections: “The Aging Population”, “Living Arrangements”, Intergenerational Transfers”, “Health Status”, “Mental Health”, and “Social Participation”.
Download a PDF of the report below.
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01 December 2014
Gender and ageing was the theme of the 2nd International Longevity Forum which brought together more than 30 experts to debate and provide recommendations, expressed in the "Charter on Gender and Ageing", including interaction with the audience of the event. The Charter highlights one fundamental aspect of the development of a culture of care which was discussed during the International Longevity Forum in 2013.
More information is available on the ILC-Brazil website here - http://www.ilcbrazil.org/?p=799.
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07 August 2014
Eleven of the 14 ILCs in the Global Alliance were represented at the 2013 ILC Global Alliance symposium held in Singapore in 2013. The below report includes the presentations given by several of the ILC Global Alliance representatives. The symposium was attended by more than 100 delegates from the academic and research community, the NGO community and civil society, and the government of Singapore.
14 January 2014
Global ageing and urbanization are among the major challenges facing countries around the world. This paper, based on a revised version of the Robert Butler Memorial Lecture delivered at the International Centre Global Alliance Symposium on ‘The Future of Ageing’ on 21 June 2013 in Singapore, focuses on three aspects.
First, it examines the global ageing trends and their implications based on the 2012 Revision of the UNDESA’s World Population Prospects projections.
Second, it summarizes selected studies projecting additional expenditure on pensions and health care which may be needed in the future. The projections suggest that additional resources which would need to be generated, at the time when medium term growth prospects are subdued, would be significant, in the range of 2 to 5 percent of GDP. Given constrained tax policy autonomy and high locational elasticity of businesses and individuals, raising resources, i.e. funding for financing aging, and designing financing-mix between various sources and sectors, have acquired greater urgency.
So the third section briefly outlines how countries could address funding and financing challenges, including developing capacities to access non-conventional sources such as making more productive use of state assets.
Professor Mukul G Asher, a Professorial Fellow in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, delivered the 4th ILC Robert Butler Memorial Lecture in the symposium. Professor Asher has published extensively in national and international journals, and has authored or edited more than ten books. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of International Social Security Review. He has been a consultant to several Governments in Asia on tax policy and pension reforms, and to multi-lateral institutions including the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. He has been active in Executive Development Programs, and has been a lead faculty for such programs for Government officials in several countries, including India, Indonesia, Brunei, Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan.
Eleven of the 14 ILCs in the Global Alliance were represented in the symposium; several of the representatives presented papers. The symposium was attended by more than 100 persons from the academic and research community, the NGO community and civil society, and the government of Singapore.
Below is the full paper presented by Professor Asher in the symposium.
13 November 2013
Current societal and financial challenges are demanding a revision of how health budgets are spent with a view to increasing both savings and sustainability.
In light of these challenges, the SAATI Partnership has launched their report on “Adult vaccination: a key component of healthy ageing - Benefits of life-course immunisation in Europe” to raise awareness of the health and socio-economic benefits of a life-course approach to immunisation.
This SAATI commissioned research, that received financial support from Pfizer, provides an overview of the state of adult immunisation in the EU27 and the value of implementing better immunisation policies for the European adult population from a public health and macro-economic perspective.
The report consolidates existing research on the incidence of the main vaccine-preventable diseases in Europe. It sheds light on the gaps existing in adult immunisation policies in EU Member States and identifies the key determinants for the successful implementation of adult vaccination policies across Europe. It also provides practical recommendations to improve vaccination rates in adults. Finally, it includes a snapshot of the adult immunisation policy landscape in each EU Member State, with the aim of helping to facilitate national decision-making.
The full report is available for download below, and an Executive Summary of the report is available here.
Supporting documents are available to download here:
GMAS Fiscal Impact of Adult Vaccination in the Netherlands (incl methodology)
GMAS Study On Fiscal Impact of Adult Vaccination in The Netherlands
HERON - Cost effectiveness of adult immunisation strategies
Supporting Active Ageing through Immunisation (SAATI): Burden of Seven Key Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in EU27
Calling for a European life-course immunisation strategy
06 September 2013
ILC-UK, supported by Norgine and working alongside a steering group of European experts, have conducted a European review of the evidence and policy on constipation in older people, particularly those living in residential care settings.
The burden of constipation in our ageing society: working towards better solutions aimed to draw on evidence available as to the extent of the impact of constipation, as an often misunderstood and misrepresented topic. Though highlighting the impact of constipation on those affected in terms of pain, quality of life and emotion wellbeing, the review seeks to improve knowledge and understanding of this issue. It also aims to highlight the impact of untreated or under-treated constipation on healthcare resources, and to identify and evaluate existing guidance and guidelines on diagnosis and management of constipation, and to highlight where gaps exist.
The key findings of the report are that constipation is under-recognised in terms of the impact it has on physical health and quality of life. Of particular importance in an older age group, constipation can exacerbate symptoms in patients with mental conditions such as dementia. If left untreated, constipation can have serious medical consequences, such as faecal impaction, which may require admission to hospital. As with all health conditions affecting older people, we will see a rise in this issue as the population ages unless action is taken. Constipation is often not managed effectively, with a lack of evidence-based guidance on the management of constipation in older adults across Europe.
The report highlights a number of areas where action can be taken to improve this situation:
- Functional constipation should not be underestimated or trivialised and should not simply be considered as an inevitable consequence of ageing or frailty
- Constipation should be classified and recognised as a condition in its own right, not just a set of symptoms associated with other disorders
- Recognition and awareness of the typical symptoms and causes of constipation, as well as understanding how to effectively prevent and treat it, should be a training priority across the whole multi-disciplinary team and for social care professionals working with older people
- Constipation needs to be better diagnosed so it can be promptly treated and managed more effectively in line with agreed best practice and recognised standards
- The taboo nature of constipation needs to be addressed amongst the general public such that older people start to feel more comfortable and less embarrassed about self-reporting suspected constipation, knowing that they will be taken seriously and always treated with respect
- Highlight the true cost of failing to effectively manage constipation in older people, in terms of economic and societal burden to health services, as well as the cost in terms of individual suffering and reduction in quality of life.
The full report is available to download below, or the executive summary of this report can be downloaded here http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/images/uploads/publication-pdfs/Executive_Summary.pdf
22 May 2013
This Discussion Paper collates the findings of 10 ILCs within the ILC Global Alliance on the subject of housing for older people. Coordinated by Monica Ferreira, Co-President of the ILC Global Alliance and President of ILC-South Africa, the research was commissioned to analyse the different policies used globally to provide housing for older people and to illicit best practice examples. The paper intends to begin filling in the gaps of knowledge and spark debate on the subject of shelter for older people.
The paper divides the ten ILC respondents into six “More Developed” (MD) and four “Less Developed” (LD) countries, and housing into two housing types: “General” housing which covers ordinary dwellings either owned or rented by older individuals and “Specialist” housing which comprises retirement villages, residential care homes, and nursing homes.
It reports that the ten ILCs uniformly show that “more than 80 per cent” of the older population resides in general housing – partly influenced by a strong preference amongst older people to remain living in their own home. This has led to a growing market in home adaptation – introducing technical aids to prevent older people’s loss of autonomy within their own home. Nonetheless, the paper concludes that there is still huge potential for growth in building and adapting homes so that they are made more accessible to the older population.
Ultimately, the paper finds that up to 25% of old people are still likely to relocate to specialist housing eventually. The paper finds that there is a worrying shortage of specialist housing for low-income older people – currently specialist housing is presented, and costed, as a luxury.
The paper finds that all MD countries have a well-developed policy on housing for older people focused largely on institutional care and benefits. LD countries, by contrast, tend not to offer any specific policies but instead legislate for family obligations for caring for their older generations.
The paper concludes that there can be no “perfect” housing solution given the different cultural and socio-economic needs of older people across different countries. Instead it calls for an “e-dialogue” to share best-practice examples and develop future solutions to ensure the provision of adequately priced and appropriately built housing for older people.
Readers of this discussion paper and the appended country papers below are invited to participate in a dialogue on issues raised by the Discussion Paper and in housing provision for this population in general including views on what constitutes best practice.
Please click here and make your comments in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section at the bottom of the page.
Click on the Download a PDF link below to download the full Discussion Paper.
26 March 2013
This monograph has been produced by the Centre of Expertise in Longevity and Long-term Care (Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague), International Longevity Centre-Czech Republic, drawing on the ideas and impetus which emanated from an International Longevity Centre Global Alliance symposium held in Prague, Czech Republic on May 28, 2012 as part of the 11th Global Conference on Ageing. The theme for the symposium, “Productive ageing: Conditions and opportunities”.
The monograph is intended to highlight positive aspects of ageing and longevity, and the increasing potential these processes offer individuals and society, as well as to explore determinants, conditions and threats to prospects of productive ageing and longevity. It embraces and supports the concept of productive ageing propounded by a co-founder of International Longevity Center (ILC),® Dr. Robert N. Butler, and articulates his leadership in this area. Dr Butler first introduced the term “productive ageing” in a seminar on dependency and long-term care in Salzburg, Austria in 1982. He emphasised that the term should focus on positive aspects and the potential of ageing. Productive ageing is thus an antonym and an antidote to negative views of ageing, which Butler referred to as “ageism” – indeed, another term he coined, in his 1975 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Why Survive? Being Old in America (1976).
The monograph brings together perspectives from 11 of the 14 ILCs operated on four continents at present (Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Netherlands, Israel, Singapore, India, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and South Africa). The chapters, which interpret “productive ageing” in the way that Dr. Robert Butler intended, explore intersections of health and work, at the same time taking cognisance of existential challenges to individuals and societies. Outcomes of the chapters represent an overview of the state of paid and unpaid economic activity of older persons in the countries, and a range of constraints to productive activity and social participation, as well as offer solutions and suggest approaches towards fostering productive ageing in multiple forms and optimising capacity for such productivity.
The report is available to download below.
15 March 2012
In this report we initiate a dialogue on multigenerational households and intergenerational relations from a global perspective. This report reviews the status of multigenerational households and intergenerational relations in specific countries that vary widely in terms of social attitudes, population structure, cultural traditions and economic development. The theme of the report was developed jointly by ILC-India and ILC-UK, through shared concerns about changes in household structures, and anxiety about ways of maintaining intergenerational relations. This report features contributions from:
For some of the countries represented in this report (e.g. the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and the UK), the global economic crisis has brought intergenerational issues to the fore recently. This has prompted a critical examination of relationships between younger and older people within multigenerational households and families, and beyond in non-familial intergenerational relationships. Some of this has been on the macro-level, with much of the rhetoric pitching younger generations against older. Other countries meanwhile (e.g. South Africa and Singapore) have emerged relatively unscathed from the economic crisis, and in these countries other changes in social attitudes, and economic development of a different sort, are drivers of change in intergenerational relations and household structures. While all countries now arguably have an ageing population, in some countries represented in this report, fertility rates have dropped below replacement level and their populations have been ageing for a considerable time; some Western countries already have an older population that is now fairly closely approximate to the size of the younger population (under 16 years). Yet other countries represented in the report are still in an intermediate stage of demographic transition with the younger population significantly greater in size than the older population, albeit with rapid growth in the number of older people.
Despite these demographic differences, certain common themes have emerged in the reports of the different countries. Most prominent among the themes is a decline in the number of multigenerational households in recent years, observed in the majority of the countries. Gender is another common theme, with older populations disproportionately made up of women, and the majority of older women widowed and the majority of older men living in couple relationships. Gender is evident moreover in patterns of care provision, with women identified in several countries as primary carers to older people (Argentina, Dominican Republic, France, India, South Africa, Singapore, UK) - and most probably the case in all countries. In several countries (Dominican Republic, India, South Africa) older women are also often primary care givers to grandchildren, although this role is not mentioned specifically in other countries, particularly those with a low prevalence of multigenerational households.
The prevalence of multigenerational households differs by country type, and generally high income countries have a lower proportion of multigenerational households and low and middle income countries a higher proportion of households, although as mentioned, other cultural and social factors differentiate between countries that are similar in many other ways. Furthermore, while household structures have changed substantially in higher income countries, and the proportion of multigenerational households has declined against a context of economic and social change, research does show that although intergenerational relations evolve, they nonetheless remain essentially intact.
In this report, the focus is on familial relations and less so on non-familial relations. Each country report has been structured around the following questions:
- How many older people in your country currently live with their family in a multigenerational household?
- How have the numbers of multigenerational households changed over the past 40-50 years?
- Which factors influence the prevalence of older people currently living in multigenerational households?
- Do families, and particularly younger family members, provide formal or informal care for older relatives who need care and/or support?
- How has the changing economic situation of older people changed the pattern of care giving within families?
The report is available to download below.
17 January 2012
This report has been produced by ILC-UK, drawing on the ideas, issues and challenges of integrating care raised at the Conference on Integrated Care for Frail Older People. This conference was held on 29th September 2011 organised by ILC-Netherlands in cooperation with the Leyden Academy, the Dutch Medical Research Council, Vilans (a Centre of Expertise for Long-term Care) and the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance.
This report examines the potential benefit of integrating health and social care services for frail older people in a global context. It highlights that while financial, cultural and logistical barriers exist, countries should continue to work towards integrating health and social care services given its possibilities for cost efficiency, freeing up acute healthcare facilities and benefits for service users.
This report covers:
• the need for integrated care;
• the current global context of care for frail older people;
• the benefits and challenges of integrating health and social care services for this group;
• priorities for action in advancing the issue of integrated care worldwide.
A summary of the report can be viewed below and or is available for download here. The full report is available to download at the bottom of this page.
ILC Global Alliance papers on integrating health and social care services are available here.
More information on the ILC Global Alliance 2011 meeting and the Conference on Integrated Care for Frail Older People can be found here: http://www.ilc-alliance.org/index.php/news/news_post/2011_meeting_of_the_global_alliance
31 August 2011
The report posits that women will disproportionately bear the burden of dementia in terms of numbers, but also impact in the coming years. The ‘feminization of ageing’ is a widely recognised trend and yet hitherto a comprehensive approach to the impact of dementia on women remains largely under explored.Invariably women and men as they age, share many of the same fundamental needs. Yet, as is acknowledged in many parts of the world, older women are particularly vulnerable and are subject to prolonged inequalities experienced since childhood, for example, lower levels of education and a greater risk of poverty. This report assumes a life course approach to the challenge of dementia and women, arguing from a global perspective that women face a ‘triple jeopardy’ as a result of the associated stigma attached to their age, gender and decline in cognitive functions.
ILC-UK make a number of recommendations for improving outcomes and interventions for women, which include:
- Dementia health policies and programmes should incorporate a gender dimension in their design, delivery and evaluation
- Gender should be included as a key health determinant in the promotion and disease prevention of dementia
- Dementia research at the regional, national and international level needs to be disaggregated by gender and age
- Women and men should be equally represented and involved at the micro and macro level of decision-making with regard to the development of health and social care policies and resource allocation as they pertain to dementia
- There is a need for greater interdisciplinary research incorporating the biological and social models of health for men and women to improve health interventions and outcomes.
Author: Sally-Marie Bamford
18 August 2011
It is organized into five sections: “The Aging Population”, “Living Arrangements”, “Health Status”, “Mental Health” and “Economic Status”.
This report is a compilation of data from the Singapore Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Social Isolation, Health and Lifestyles Survey (SIHLS) 2009, Singapore Department of Statistics Census of Population 2000 and 2010; Singapore Registry of Births and Deaths 2006; Singapore Department of Statistics General Household Survey 2005; Singapore Ministry of Manpower Report on the Labor Force in Singapore 2010; and the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat along with brief analyses of key patterns.
05 August 2011
Dr. Robert N. Butler passed away from acute leukemia on July 4 in 2010. “Productive Aging - Robert Butler Memorial Issue” is a special report compiling his works as well as some of the remarks he made in his activities. It also features interviews and messages of famous people who were deeply influenced by him.
While compiling this report we were moved profoundly once again by his foresight, incomparable energy and inspiration. He proved with his own life that aging is by no means tragic and dedicated his entire life to pursue the ideal societies where everyone can enjoy longevity. The spirit of Dr. Butler is inherited to us and ILC-Japan will strive to create the future he envisioned together with members of the ILC Global Alliance.
The publication has been published on the ILC-Japan website at: www.ilcjapan.org/chojuGIJE/productive_aging.html
07 July 2011
The report, ‘Non-Communicable Diseases in an Ageing World', discusses salient policy and political issues on the non-communicable disease question and provides a summary of the presentation, discussions and ideas which emerged from the expert stakeholder lunch held in the House of Lords on the 4th May 2011 organised by Alzheimer’s Disease International, HelpAge International and the International Longevity Centre - UK.
The report includes calls to action for a life-course focus on prevention, treatment, management and related care issues on NCDs and for dementia to be addressed as a global priority for action.
The event was hosted by Baroness Sally Greengross, OBE and included a presentation by Martin Prince, Professor of Epidemiological Psychiatry at King's College London.
Download the full report below.
13 June 2011
All OECD countries are experiencing unprecedented demographic change characterised by increasing longevity, a growing older population and falling birth rates. While significant differences remain between different OECD countries, the long term trends are similar and convergence looks likely to occur in the coming decadees. These demographic changes are leading to a lower old age dependency ratio (the ratio of working age to non-working age people), which presents challenges for the social solidarity and long-term sustainability of health, social care and pensions systems.
The paper outlines two philosophically different ways of approaching the challenge of demographic change. The first, which the paper calls the "zero sum approach" is to see it as a problem that requires today's working people to pay more and those drawing on social security systems to receive reduced benefits and to rely more on themselves. This approach risk intergenerational conflict as "productive" working people are asked to pay more to support the healthcare, social care and pensions of non-working people who may be perceived as having had an easier life.
The second way of looking at the problem is to take a life course approach. The life course approach sees demographic change as a challenge and an opportunity. Different generations do not compete for resources and all can play constructive albeit different roles in society. The life course approach believes that policy reform should be innovative and seek to support active and healthy ageing rather than simply increase contributions and cut benefits.
The paper looks at a number of innovative policy reforms in different OECD countries including health checks for the over 40s in the UK, Japan's long term care insurance system and the use of mobile phone technology to support older people or people with chronic diseases.
12 May 2011
The International Longevity Centre Global Alliance dinner debate on ‘Narrowing World Health Disparities and Longevity’ was held on the 25th October 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa, during the ILC Global Alliance annual meeting. The format of the evening included: welcome and introductions, a speech from the guest speaker, and then an open forum for debate on the issues.
The discussion provided a unique opportunity for a debate on an issue which is keenly felt on all sides of the world. One of the aims of the debate was to produce this report, summarising and highlighting the key issues which emerged from the discussion. From this, the ILC-UK has formulated some recommendations on how to narrow the inequalities of circumstance and opportunities that affect the health of older people, which could be applicable in many parts of the world.
The report is available to download below.
29 March 2011
This report is a compilation of data from various ministries of the national government and other sources, along with brief interpretations to promote a greater understanding about the implications of popolation ageing in Japan.
The publication can be accessed at: www.ilcjapan.org/agingE/POJ11.html.
21 March 2011
This paper, edited by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK), presents country-specific insights from the different members of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance (ILC Global alliance)on the retirement age reform process that has been included in the political agenda by governments around the world.
The different briefs from the ILC Global Alliance members were based on the following questions:
*What are the rules on eligibility age for state pensions in your country?
*Are there different rules for men and women?
*Are there different rules for different aspects of the state pension?
*Is there a ‘retirement age’ at which employers can legally retire their staff, and is this linked to the eligibility age for state pensions?
*Does the state also set retirement ages for public sector pension schemes?
*Are any of these rules undergoing reform, and how have policy-makers justified reform?
*What has public reaction been to reform proposals?
24 February 2011
The report, ‘The European Dementia Research Agenda’ finds there is widespread disparity in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementia across Europe.
The lead author of the report, Sally-Marie Bamford, ILC-UK Senior Researcher, argues that research needs to be afforded a greater role in tackling Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The report suggests investment in clinical research and translational research will reap its own rewards and holds the key to improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
While some countries are striving forward such as Germany and France, the report found, many EU countries are trailing behind with no specifically targeted dementia research funding and/or national strategies.
The report made possible through an unrestricted grant from Pfizer, summarises the presentations, discussions and ideas which emerged from an expert working group meeting on dementia research held in the European Parliament in November 2010. It also brings together recent research on the scale, cost, national and EU responses to dementia and recent EU initiatives.
Today ILC-UK issued a Call to Action for the European Commission, the European Parliament, EU governments, and wider civil society. Among the 13 recommendations are:
For the European Commission to:
• Prioritise dementia research under Framework Programme 8, given the growing burden and financial, health, social and human cost of dementia across Europe
• Develop a European Charter to increase the participation of people with dementia in clinical trials, share best practice and examine current obstacles
For the Members of the European Parliament to:
• Support the drafting and adoption of a United Nations Convention on the Human Rights of Older People
For Governments of the Member States to:
• Ensure parity in funding for dementia research in line with other chronic diseases and the disease burden
• Ensure the implementation and adequate resourcing of comprehensive national strategies to address all aspects of dementia
• Create national centres of excellence in dementia research
For NGOs, clinicians, industry and academia to:
• Work with professional bodies that represent, regulate and are responsible for the training of GPs and other health care professionals to encourage more Continuing Professional Development in dementia and the exchange of best practice.
01 December 2010
“An excellent report”
David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science
"It is a sound research project that gives an excellent view of the dynamics of the older market."
Dick Stroud, 20plus30
“This is an exceptional report. It's the best thought through piece on this subject that I've seen and - if it gets in the right hands - it will move the debate forward significantly and do a lot of good.”
Tony Watts, Editor, Mature Times
The consumer market is important to older people, providing (and influencing) the food we eat and the medications we take. The private sector help us fill our leisure time and support our learning and personal development.
At the same time. older people are important to the market and the economy. Older people’s spending reached an estimated £97 billion in 2008 (65 plus)‚ around 15 per cent of the overall household expenditure. Those aged 50 or over spent £276 billion in 2008‚ making up around 44 per cent of the total family spending in the UK.
Yet despite the size of the market, this report finds that for many, the private sector does not meet their needs. This is not just a story of poverty or a lack of income to buy products, but of a consumer marketplace which frequently fails to meet the needs of an ageing population. People of all income levels are consumers. For the poorest consumer, they often find that they pay more and get less back in return.
Some older people are well served by the market. And in some cases older people get fantastic service from the private sector. Yet there are significant issues facing the older consumer. Many of the issues highlighted below have been documented in literature as far back as the 1960s. Some of the failings outlined in this report are indicative of market failure.
Summary of Findings
• The older consumer market is expected to grow by 81 per cent from 2005 to 2030 while the 18-59 year old market will only increase 7 per cent.
• There remains a strong view that across a wide range of industries, the older consumer continues to be ignored or patronised.
• There are signs of change and increasing interest in the older consumer. But it is surprising that progress has been so slow. Research as far back as 50 years ago has highlighted the potential of the older consumer.
Who are the older consumers?
• There is no such thing as a single older consumer market and there are significant weaknesses of using age to segment the consumer market.
• It appears that our spending habits change as we age. But research suggests that age may be a less relevant factor (than income) in spending habits than it appears.
• An ageing society is likely to change the demand for certain goods and services and create new opportunities.
• Older people don’t just buy products for themselves. They shop for their children and grandchildren.
• Changes to physical and mental health are likely to have an impact on the demand for certain goods and services.
The Consumer experience
• Products and services can be made more attractive to the older consumer by the simple use of inclusive design principals.
• There are significant research gaps in relation to the older consumer.
• Six in ten over 65s have never used the internet. The digital divide creates a major barrier for older people in the consumer marketplace.
• Upper age limits mean that some products and services are inaccessible to the older population.
• The design of the retail environment can be off-putting to the older consumer.
• Incomprehensible jargon and modern phraseology can make the consumer marketplace complicated for people of all ages.
• ‘Ghost town Britain’ has a major impact on older people’s ability to engage with the consumer marketplace.
• A lack of transport alongside poor mobility is one of the biggest barriers to older people’s participation in the consumer market.
• Older people value ‘a little bit of help’. Some companies are very good at providing this support but it is often badly promoted.
• Older people are more likely to use cheques than other age groups.. As a result the poor often find themselves paying more.
• Fraud and mis-selling is a major issue of concern for the older consumer.
Marketing to the older consumer
• Ageism undoubtedly influences the consumer market and the way in which some marketing professionals target an older population.
• Older people (particularly women) are underrepresented in television advertisements but there is limited evidence that older people are badly represented. There is, however, evidence that older people seem to perceive that they are badly represented.
• The ‘young marketer’, with limited understanding of the older population, is often blamed for some of industries failings in terms of marketing to older people. However, whilst there is a strong case for more older marketers, this is an unfair criticism.
A need for a more demanding older consumer
• Older people are far too often, not demanding goods and services to meet their current needs. Older consumers have been found to be less likely to complain about products and services than the consumer population as a whole.
Download the full report below.
10 November 2010
Functional foods could play an important role in supporting older people’s health says a report published this week by the International Longevity Centre-UK. Functional foods are not however a silver bullet; they complement rather than replace a healthy diet.
The report “Older people and functional foods: The importance of diet in supporting older people’s health; what role for functional foods?” reviews current dietary recommendations for older people, looks at consumer behaviour towards functional foods, and asks whether functional foods have a role to play in older people’s diets.
The report, made possible by Danone and prepared by Rebecca Taylor, Senior Researcher at ILC-UK, shows that the common health concerns of older people, such as cardiovascular disease, bone health and gastrointestinal functioning are the main areas targeted by the most common functional foods, namely cholesterol lowering products, probiotics, and calcium and vitamin D enriched products. It is not surprising therefore, that an older person who perceives themselves as needing the health benefit provided by a functional food, is more likely to consume it.
The report finds the scientific evidence for the cholesterol lowering ability of plant stanol/sterol containing products to be highly robust and argues that there is a case for introducing such products into the diets of older people in order to help reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
The report finds that the UK’s current recommended intakes for vitamin D and calcium for older people now appear to be out of step with current nutritional science, which suggests higher levels of both nutrients are needed. The report also highlights the fact that current dietary guidelines treat older people as a homogenous group when in fact the health and nutritional needs of a 55 year old can be quite different to those of an 85 year old.
Many older people are susceptible to gastrointestinal problems, some of which can be serious, and many of which impact quality of life. Probiotic functional foods show significant promise in this area and solid scientific evidence already exists for some complaints, for example antibiotic associated diarrhoea.
In total, ILC-UK makes 11 recommendations on older people and functional foods including recommendations for action and future research.
Executive Summary: www.ilc-alliance.org/images/uploads/publication-pdfs/pdf_pdf_151.pdf
30 April 2010
Japan has a proportionally larger ageing population than any other country and can thus be seen as a front-runner in dealing with the challenges of an ageing society.
The publication can be accessed at: http://www.ilcjapan.org/agingE/POJ10.html
03 February 2010
With 7.3 million Europeans living with dementia and with the numbers set to increase to 15 million by 2050, this policy brief argues all European governments need to allocate more resources to dementia.
In these tough economic times, Governments across the EU are looking at ways to cut public budgets and curtail spending. All EU countries will need to prioritise spending on dementia and reconcile need, want and value for the public purse in the coming years.
This policy brief argues that policy interventions on dementia will reap rewards of their own, particularly with regard to early diagnosis, prevention and investment in research and development. There is increasing evidence to show early diagnosis coupled with effective early interventions and services are cost effective. Not only in terms of net savings, but in terms of the positive social outcomes for the patients’ families and caregivers.
At a time of growing awareness of dementia at the UK and EU level, this policy brief argues for an enhanced role for the European Union Institutions to foster, promote and stimulate collaboration between EU Member States.
This policy brief entitled: ‘A problem shared is a problem halved? Dementia: Learning opportunities from Europe’ has been published alongside a literature review which is available at: http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/files/pdf_pdf_114.pdf
The full report is also available at http://www.ilcuk.org.uk
30 November 2009
The International Longevity Centre UK was commissioned to write a report for the Department of Health, who jointly hosted the Summit with the Medical Research Council. Over 140 leading experts from charities, industry, public bodies, universities, voluntary organisations and people with experience of living with dementia attended the event.
The aim of the Summit was to identify gaps in existing knowledge and prioritise new areas for research in the dementia field. Following the release of the report, Care Services Minister Phil Hope announced a new ministerial group, to drive forward research into the causes, cure and care of dementia. The group, to be chaired by Phil Hope, will focus on increasing the volume, quality and impact of dementia research and aim to help scientists in the field of dementia research have more access to existing funding.
31 October 2009
The recent historical low in interest rates has highlighted that some retirees rely on their savings for income and are exposed to interest rate risk. For many pensioners in the UK, perhaps especially those with relatively modest savings held in bank or building society accounts, recent economic events have created uncertainty and for some, real financial difficulty.
Not only have many seen their income from savings fall to unexpectedly low levels but some have faced the fear of losing their money as banks around the world face difficulties or even collapse. In maintaining levels of income, some pensioners may now be eroding their capital.
In the context of these issues, ILC-UK are today publishing “Time to Annuitise”, which explores the case for Purchased Life Annuities (PLA). The report highlights that:
• Older people are living on low incomes: The typical (median) retired household has a total net income (after tax) of just under £13,000 p.a. In other words, half of pensioner households survive on less than this. The bottom 10% of retired households survive on less than £8,000p.a. and the majority (75%) of retired households has a net income of less than £20,000.
• But many older people have and do use their savings to provide a retirement income: Around six million retirees depend on interest from savings for at least a part of their retirement income. One quarter of the retired (or around three million individuals) has savings and investments of more than £25,000
• Older people aren’t necessarily using savings wisely: Half a million individuals with savings of £10,000 or less have all of their savings and investments in equity-based investments rather than in cash deposits. At the same time it can be difficult for older people to choose the product which is likely to give the best return. And many older people with savings are living on a low income and not making the most of their money.
• And there are many asset rich, income poor, pensioners. There are many pensioners with assets of over £25,000 who have incomes which may not sustain a comfortable lifestyle. Many in this group live on limited incomes and might be categorised as ‘asset rich, income poor’.
• There could be a role for a wider range of options for decumulation of assets including a bigger role for purchased life annuities: PLA could play a key role in ensuring older people have a stable income in retirement (and could also result in a higher income in retirement). Without property taken into account, our analysis suggests that the PLA market might benefit up to 1.3 million individuals. Yet, less than 160,000 life annuities are in force with the number of policies having fallen by 65% in 10 years and new business in 2008 amounted to fewer than 1000 sales of life annuities.
Yet, as the report argues, there are a series of barriers which make it difficult for people to access all of the appropriate options for the decumulation of retirement saving including: Low awareness and understanding; poor incentives for providers and advisers and a lack of access to information and advice.
In the report, ILC-UK call for:
• More initiatives to make it easier for consumers to find out about the income options and to help them purchase the most appropriate products
• More promotion of annuities by the industry and the FSA
• Consideration given to changes to the tax legislation for annuities
• More emphasis in industry, Government and FSA material on the risks posed by different options in retirement
• Life annuities forming a core part of the information and guidance given to those in retirement.
"Time to Annuitise" was discussed at a recent ILC-UK and Actuarial Profession Joint Event: "Decumulation of Assets -The Impact of the Economic Downturn".
30 September 2009
The United Nations World Assembly on Ageing has made advancing health and well-being into old age a worldwide call for action. This text demonstrates what researchers worldwide are doing to answer that call. Here, three of America's most esteemed experts on ageing lead a global team of contributors - each an expert in his or her country - in highlighting the top challenges facing each nation and the research being conducted to overcome these. As an expert from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned at a recent UN World Assembly on Aging “While we cannot predict with absolute certainty the issues that will arise over the next 20 years, we can anticipate some and we must start now to prepare for these challenges. However, responding to the global population shift is not only the responsibility of governments, but will be a product of wise, long-term decisions made by individuals and societies.” she explained.
In most nations globally, populations are ‘greying’ and the number of people aged 65 and older is increasing, creating a larger segment of senior citizens than the world has ever seen. In recent human history, the elderly accounted for no more than 3 per cent of the world population. By the year 2030, the elderly are expected to make up about 25 per cent of the world’s population. While longevity is viewed as a great success, a longer lifespan for such masses also creates dilemmas. For example, the incidence of dementia has already increased significantly, with an 11-fold increase in people aged 65 and older in the US since the turn of the century. A similar increase in older people in Scotland is expected to lead to a 75 per cent increase in the numbers with dementia over the next 25 years. Chronic diseases that come with ageing are already taxing health care systems around the world from the US to Japan, with most experts warning that current health systems will be overrun through the unprecedented growth in the elderly population in the coming two decades. Increases in psychological problems, such as depression, which often strikes older people, and the changing shape of the family, are among other issues that this volume considers.
For more infromation, please visit: www.greenwood.com/catalog/C35230.aspx
31 August 2009
In this brief, we summarize the evidence about policies and practices that promote the use of vaccination from all over the world and identify actions that policy makers should take to improve rates of vaccination and promote healthy ageing. We articulate four broad policy goals and identify specific actions required to realize them.
31 August 2009
This ILC-USA report outlines specific recommendations for independent living focusing on the culture of aging, living arrangements, health care & caregiving and environmental design. Experts covering the areas of geriatric medicine, public health, caregiving, architecture, and home healthcare technology give their opinions on what creates the ideal independent living environment.
31 August 2009
Speakers included the Chief Executive of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority, the Director of the Pensions Policy Institute and a former head of the Inland Revenue. Participants and speakers agreed that despite the credit crunch the policy imperative and rationale of personal accounts remained unchanged.
31 July 2009
This report and the “Choosing Population Projections” conference were made possible by the generous support of Swiss Re. The conference took place in October 2008 in London. Speakers at the conference included:
*Lord Richard Best
*Niki Cleal, Director, Pensions Policy Institute
*Peter Goldblatt, ONS Centre for Demography
*Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC-UK
*Professor Emily Grundy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
*Professor Carol Jagger, University of Leicester
*Lord Archie Kirkwood
*Martin Lunnon, Government Actuary’s Department
*Christian Mumenthaler, Swiss Re
*Chris Shaw, ONS
*Richard Willets, Paternoster
30 June 2009
Japan is setting the pace among the aging societies of the world. People aged 65 and over now make up over one-fifth of the population and in twenty years will reach one-third.
How are individual older people faring in this “longevity society?” The first edition of “A Profile of Older Japanese,” prepared by ILC-Japan attempts to answer this question. The report brings together and analyses government and other data and is organized into seven sections: “The Aging Population and Aged Society,”“Living Arrangements,”“Housing”,“Health Status,” “Family and Long-Term Care,”“Economic Status,” and “The New-Old and Social Participation.”
To download a copy, please visit www.ilcjapan.org/agingE/POJ09.html
30 June 2009
The report summarises the speakers' presentations and draws out themes and recommendations which emerged from the event. The intention of the discussion and dinner was to not only exchange and share expertise, but also for the debate to inform future actions and initiatives in the field of dementia, particularly in light of the Dementia Research Summit on the 21st July. The report will be of interest to anyone following current policy and political developments on dementia and the wider health and social care arena.
30 June 2009
As people live longer and are less able to cope less able to cope with independent living, various alternative venues for independent or assisted senior living have emerged. Increasingly older people are considering a range of new living options, wherein they reside independently in apartments or suites while relying on their designated adult community for services. Although the types of facilities available to older people differ in their resources, community culture, and specific activities, all face a similar issue: trying to ensure that their residents or clients are satisfied with their living arrangements and are ultimately happy and functional in their new environment.
31 May 2009
The programme had been developed by ESHEL in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services and implemented in three local authorities in 2005-2007.
The intervention model consisted of two level of action: direct work with elders identified as victims of abuse (a combination of the main means of treating abuse and group therapy) and community work to raise awareness of the problem and mobilize professional partners providing services to the elderly in the community.
The data in the report present a comprehensive picture of the characteristics of the victims and abusers, the types of abuse, patterns of intervention and the impact of the program on the participants, social workers and program partners.
31 May 2009
Innovative citizen’s initiatives can play a major role in the development of new, sustainable housing and care schemes in the near future. This report on pioneering citizens’ initiatives reviews examples from several different countries: for example the Village movement in the US, Care Cooperatives in The Netherlands and intergenerational planning in the UK and Germany. Important factors found to facilitate developments include the scale of the neighbourhood; entrepreneurial attitudes; and the cooperation between professional planners, architects, and suppliers.
30 April 2009
The ILC-UK would like to express gratitude to ARUP and the the Housing Learning Improvement Network for making this report possible.
The lifetime neighbourhoods agenda has emerged in recent years through growing recognition of the interlocking roles of the built environment, infrastructure, housing, services and space in determining quality of life. Lifetime neighbourhoods are those that “offer the best possible chance of health, wellbeing, and social, economic and civic engagement regardless of age”.
The lifetime neighourhoods agenda went mainstream in 2007 with the publication by the UK Government of 'Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods – A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society.'
However, since 2007, changes in the building industry and wider economy have threatened many of the levers and assumptions underpinning the lifetime neighbourhoods agenda. This paper draws on the views of experts in the area to develop a new shared vision about how make the lifetime neighbourhoods vision a reality, and the respective roles of government, public sector agencies, local authorities, private developers, professional organisations, housing associations and the voluntary sector.
Contributors to this report include:
*Sarah Davis, Chartered Institute of Housing;
*Gary Day, McCarthy & Stone Ltd;
*John Low, Joseph Rowntree Foundation;
*Thomas Bolton and Rowena Hay, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment;
*Gideon Amos OBE, Town and Country Planning Association
16 March 2009
This report presents a detailed portrait of the realities of population aging around the world and articulating a call to action from an intergenerational and lifespan perspective.
The International Longevity Centre Global Alliance comprises ten centers – the United States of America, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, India, South Africa, Argentina, The Netherlands, and Israel. Together, we are engaged in an effort to understand and address the profound consequences of population aging and advancing longevity.
28 February 2009
The advent of a possible means to delay aging and extend longevity is a great intellectual and social as well as medical achievement. The added years of life that are now available for so many is requiring that we as a society change obsolete mind-sets and attitudes about growing old. The social construct of old age, even the inner life and the activities of older persons, is now subject to review and revision. The very words we use to describe people are undergoing greater scrutiny.
It is ironic, then, that at the same time Americans are beginning to see an unfolding of the entire life cycle for a majority, we continue to have embedded in our culture a fear of growing old, manifest by negative stereotypes and language that belittles the very nature of growing old, its complexities and tremendous variability.
31 January 2009
The striking increase in longevity is a new venture for humanity and a privilege for our
nations as long as the aging population remains healthy and active. Many studies have
amply demonstrated 1;2that two important determinants ensure a successful aging: the
absence of disease and the maintenance of activity including participation in the labour
market. The number of years between 50 and 70 represent a key period that determines the
future of old age in terms of physical, psychological and cognitive health. The challenge
is to maintain the social integration and active participation of that age group.
The experience of people over the age of 50 is vital to promote the wealth of societies.
In France, as in other nations, the professional participation and financial contribution of
that age group is crucial. Their economic power allows the development of new and
innovative services. Their role in financially assisting the younger population guarantees
an intergenerational equity and tutoring younger workers enables the essential
transmission of professional skills.
31 January 2009
These books include more than 30 chapters presenting an array of issues related to aging from the perspective of three nations, Australia, The U.S. and Israel. The books are a product of Prof. Carmel’s initiatives which started in 1999, with the invitation of scholars from UCLA and Victoria University, Melbourne to participate in a symposium on aging for the inauguration of the new MA Program in Gerontology. During Carmel’s sabbatical at Melbourne in 2005, she initiated the writing of both volumes.
Lessons on Aging from Three Nations: The Art of Aging Well (Volume 1)
Lessons on Aging from Three Nations: The Art of Caring for Older Adults (Volume 2)
31 January 2009
One of the major challenges of ageing societies is to reduce the years of living with disabilities by maintaining elders’ health and independency in the later years of life. The purpose of this study was to investigate the part that older people themselves plays in addressing this challenge and achieve successful ageing by examining the effects of various psychosocial resources that people accumulate over the course of their lives and the coping patterns they use, when confronted with decline in health and/or functioning.
31 January 2009
This research brief summarises the key findings and implications for local authorities in the UK engaged in developing, planning and delivering services to support older carers.
The key points of the brief are:
*Older carers vary enormously in their age and socioeconomic profile, and in their experience of caring, depending on whom they provide care for and the volume of care provided.
*Spousal carers are typically older, poorer, provide a larger volume of care and experience poorer outcomes than, for example, older carers providing care for a parent.
*Older carers providing moderate to heavy volumes of care (20+ hours per week) report a significantly lower quality of life than comparable non-carers.
*Far more than any other characteristic or impairment, it is the memory functioning of the person receiving care that is most associated with variations in the quality of life of older carers. This suggests that caring for someone with poor memory functioning has a significant effect on the quality of life of an older carer.
*Various factors were found to be associated with variations in the quality of life of older carers. In particular, although few differences in the health of older carers compared to non-carers were found, variations in health status appear to have a stronger association with quality of life than any other factor, underlining the importance of health services to supporting older carers.
*Besides health status, financial hardship and access to medical services were strongly associated with variations in quality of life for older carers.
*Comparing the lives of carers and non-carers, it was found that providers of moderate to heavy care have more difficulty accessing health services and local shops.
*Older carers are more likely than non-carers to wish that they could go to the cinema more often, suggesting that caring responsibilities do constrain aspirations to participate in leisure activities.
Spousal carers are less likely to have holidayed in the UK or abroad than non-carers.
ILC-UK is extremely grateful to the National Centre for Social Research for undertaking the analysis upon which the brief is based, and the Nuffield Foundation for funding the original analysis.
30 December 2008
The project aims to clarify what is essential for them to sustain an independent life. This is the report of the 4th year of the 5-year consecutive survey project. After the completion of the 5th year survey analysis, the results will be translated in English and presented across the world.
30 December 2008
The book “Aging and Spirituality” authored by Dr. S.D. Gokhale, Hon. President, ILC-India was released at the hands of Dr. Joseph Troisi, Director, UN INIA, Malta during the International Conference held at Tirupati.
30 December 2008
The debate was organised jointly by the ILC-UK and Actuarial Profession, and took place in London on the 13th October 2009. Almost 200 people attended including representatives of the financial services industry, the voluntary sector and Government.
The recent historical low in interest rates has highlighted the dependence that some retirees have on their savings. And for many pensioners in the UK, perhaps especially those with relatively modest savings held in bank or building society accounts, recent economic events have created uncertainty, and for some real financial difficulty. Not only have many seen their incomes fall to unexpectedly low levels but some have faced the fear of losing their money as banks around the world face difficulties or even collapse. In maintaining levels of income, some pensioners may now be eroding their capital. These notes are based on the presentations of:
*Professor David Blake, Cass Business School
*Tom Boardman, Prudential
*Jane Vass, Age Concern and Help the Aged
*Jackie Wells, Fellow, ILC-UK
*Niki Cleal, PPI
The representation of the presentations reflect the views of ILC-UK and not necessarily the views of any individual speaker.
This brief, and the event it summarises, were made possible by the support of Age Concern and Help the Aged.
30 September 2008
This study sought to identify
*The patterns of adaptation to decline in driving-related capabilities (DRC), including self-imposed limitations, and voluntary or compulsory cessation of driving
*The factors that correlate with the driving-related patterns of adaptation (DPA)
*The associations between the various DPA's and perceived well-being, in terms of self-esteem and life-satisfaction.
A national random stratified sample of 860 licensed drivers, aged 70+, was drawn from the lists of the Israeli Ministry of Transportation. The participants were interviewed at their homes, based on a structured questionnaire.
The report finds that the cessation of driving is mostly a voluntary and gradual process. Significant differences in socio-demographic, psychosocial, and driving-related factors were found among the various DPA's. Still driving, relating importance to the license and love of driving were the best predictors of well-being when controlling for all the study variables. Women significantly differed from men, in having less driving experience, less confidence in DRC, starting to drive later and stopping to drive earlier and voluntarily. Furthermore, driving plays an important role in elders’ well-being.
The authors recommend establishing programs for better diagnosing elders’ DRC, based on which, improvements to driving skills and confidence will be introduced, or, alternatively, recommendations for driving with limitations or cessation will be delivered. In addition, we recommend the implementation of driving education in high schools, for developing early the appropriate attitudes and behaviors, hence, prolonging driving experience and extending the years of safe driving at old age.
30 June 2008
Ultimately, ‘obesity policy’ is about behaviour, and the ability of policymakers to influence the choices and behaviour of individuals. Although a focus on particular sub-groups has informed such policy, the effect of life course transitions and changes on behaviour in relation to obesity needs to be exploited.
This report deploys a life course approach to review factors influencing behavior and choices relating to balanced diets and physical activity. The ‘life course approach’ views the action and behaviour of individuals in the context of the continuum of their lives from birth to death, and transition through various life stages and transition points. These key life stages and transition points can render individuals more susceptible to negative health outcomes. However, they also present opportunities for intervention, for example with healthcare services, educational institutions and employers.
This report was made possible by the generous support of Pfizer.
Author: Primrose Musingarimi, Senior Researcher, ILC-UK
30 June 2008
The book published by ILC-I covers the various dimensions of ageing including among other issues, the international initiatives, the science of ageing, the use of technology for elder care, age associated biological changes, issues of spirituality, the demographic changes in the population, the anti-ageing intervention research and the social, health and economic aspects of population ageing. The book may be used for teaching by academicians and scholars as the articles are based on the original training programme modules on Gerontology and Geriatrics conducted by ILC-I and the University of Pune.
31 May 2008
Obesity is high on the policy agenda in the UK as evidenced by the recent publication of the obesity strategy in England. It is widely acknowledged that bringing down rates of obesity will be a major challenge for public health and policymakers in coming decades.
The successes achieved with tobacco control offer valuable lessons for how this challenge may be addressed. This report reviews those strategies that have been effective against tobacco use and explores the scope for applying them to combat obesity.
These measures include:
* Information and Communication Strategies,
* Community-based Programs,
* Regulatory and Legislative Measures
* Economic Approaches
* Medical Interventions and Management
This report was made possible by the generous support of Pfizer.
Author: Primrose Musingarimi, Senior Researcher, ILC-UK
31 May 2008
The research looks at how receipt of inheritance varies by age and socioeconomic group, and analyses the expectations of older cohorts for leaving an inheritance in the future. The report is authored by James Lloyd of the ILC-UK and Andy Ross and Michael Weinhardt of the National Centre for Social Research.
Key findings of the research include:
* Around 2.5% of the population receive an inheritance each year, and the average amount of inheritance received has doubled in less than a decade.
* Older age groups are both more likely to receive an inheritance and for it to be of higher value.
* Higher socioeconomic groups are more likely to receive an inheritance and there is some indication that the amount they receive is also larger.
* Among older groups, wealthier individuals also report a higher expectation of receiving an inheritance in the future.
The ILC-UK is extremely grateful to its partners in this project:
* Norwich Union whose generous support made this research possible.
* NatCen, who undertook the statistical analysis for this research.
Media coverage of this research includes:
‘Care needn't cost all the family silver’ by David Brindle, The Guardian
‘Property prices fuel inheritances’ by BBC News Online
31 May 2008
This report was made possible by the generous support of Norwich Union.
As 'The Age of Inheritance' shows, the UK has entered a new era, in which the unprecedented wealth of those at the peak age of mortality is resulting in inheritance transfers across the population of a level that has never been witnessed before.
This major social change has important implications across a range of policy areas. For the Government, it creates a set of difficult dilemmas. Family wealth transfers can have hugely beneficial effects on an individual and therefore society. However, as average inheritance receipts increase, the implications for equality of opportunity are negative. As this discussion paper argues, there is also a risk that these transfers may stoke property inflation over the long-term as families direct much of the wealth they inherit back into property.
This discussion paper also seeks to ask the question: why are individuals able to leave such large inheritances? Why are individuals not consuming their wealth in their lifetime? The paper explores whether, given the dominance of property in the wealth portfolios of older people, there is a role for a new type of financial product - a 'housing equity annuity' - that lets individuals access this wealth but overcomes some of the barriers to traditional equity release products.
Author: James Lloyd, ILC-UK
28 February 2008
Increasing human longevity represents a scientific and public health triumph of the modern era. However, threats to this advancement have emerged in the form of new diseases resulting from modern technology and patterns of living. Chief among these threats is the rapid rise in the prevalence of obesity.
Tackling population-level obesity is complicated by a number of factors including:
* The existence of multi-level governance structures on issues related to obesity ranging from the global, to European, national, regional and local.
* The reluctance to adopt interventions that could be seen to be impinging on the rights of freedom of choice of individuals, particularly on their lifestyles.
In most of the existing literature on obesity, what is written about UK policies tends to reflect policies that exist in England and there is very little mention of policies that may exist in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The purpose of the research was to review and comparatively analyze the existing national policies targeted against obesity in the four regions in order to gain a better understanding of how obesity is being tackled throughout the UK.
This report was made possible by the generous support of Pfizer.
Author: Primrose Musingarimi, Senior Researcher, ILC-UK
28 February 2008
The ILC-UK has published a new guide in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the Care Services Improvement Partnership at the Department of Health.
This guide is intended as a complementary resource to 'Lifetime homes, lifetime Neighbourhoods: A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society', unveiled on February 26th 2008 by Secretary of State Hazel Blears MP.
The guide aims to assist regional strategy makers in understanding the relevance of housing and the built environment to health, social care and wider social and economic sustainability in the context of an ageing population. It will also be of interest to those who wish to lobby regional or local strategies to take better account of the impact of housing on older people's wellbeing.
In a joint foreword, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Baroness Andrews OBE and Baroness Greengross call for all those involved in regional and local strategies to 'understand and plan for demographic change and our ageing society.'
The guide comes in two formats, a pocket-sized A6 pamphlet and a larger, more accessible A4 online pdf. Both are available free of charge.
Author: Ed Harding, ILC-UK
28 February 2008
The future funding of long-term care for older people is widely recognised as one of the biggest public policy challenges confronting the UK Government. The cost of long-term care is set to increase in coming decades as a result of demographic change, increasing longevity, as well as the widely acknowledged need to spend more on care to raise quality.
Proposals for state-funded universal free care have thus far dominated debate, but are becoming increasingly problematic in light of the unprecedented transfers of wealth from younger to older cohorts that have occurred during a period of rising property prices.
This report sets out a new approach based around the model of a social insurance fund. The ‘National Care Fund’ proposed would have several key features:
* A risk-pool limited to older cohorts only.
* Auto-enrolment to achieve high levels of participation.
* Total flexibility for older people in when and how they pay their contribution, including the option to defer until after death in the form of a charge levied on their estate.
* Poorer individuals would have their contribution paid for by the state.
* A fully-fledged market in complementary long-term care insurance products from the private sector is also proposed.
Media coverage of this paper includes:
"Despite the baby boomers ageing, we can afford to care" by Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
"Got a few quid for the old rich folk?" by Alice Miles, The Times
Author: James Lloyd, Head of Policy & Research, ILC-UK
31 January 2008
We are in the middle of a revolution: the longevity revolution. A new generation of older Americans is forming. Yet, with each year we gain in life, society falls further behind in preparation. Who Cares? The answer is central to the mission of the ILC-USA and is the theme of our 2007 annual report. Along with reviewing our yearly highlights, our annual report profiles six leading advocates for aging issues. Dr. Marie Bernard, Hugh Downs, Jane Fonda, Bill Novelli, Lawrence Schmieding and Dr. Phyllis Zee all work tirelessly to bring focus and clarity to issues of aging and longevity. Truly, they care, and we commend them for it.
30 December 2007
If cells weren’t programmed to age, if the telomeres, which govern the number of times a cell may divide, didn’t shorten with each division, if our bodies could repair damage due to disease and ageing from within, we would certainly live much longer and healthier lives. From all over the world, research is being reported, which, if it comes to fruition, would not only constitute major contributions to the treatment of disease but could in principle lead to the indefinite extension of life, to the extent perhaps that we would begin to think of people who had received such life- extending treatment as immortals.
30 November 2007
The project aims to assess older persons' functioning and the contributions they make to family and community, specifically older residents of historically disadvantaged areas in South Africa. Information yielded from the study is used to inform the design and implementation of programs at public health care facilities aimed at optimising the elders' functioning and sustaining their contributions. The project is being conducted collaboratively with the Stroud Center for Study of Quality of Life at Columbia University, ILC-USA and the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.
28 November 2007
The key question is how 'ageing well' is best achieved. Early evidence suggested that high physical, mental and social functioning were all important components of 'ageing well', but there are now increasing indications that older people can compensate and experience good mental health even if physical health is poor and that social interaction in particular may be important.
This policy brief draws on research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, exploring what factors are associated with successful ageing amongst the oldest old in the UK.
The brief also discusses the implications of the research for health policy directed toward the oldest old age-groups.
The research and this policy brief were made possible by the support of the Nuffield Foundation.
Authors: Emily Grundy, Astrid Fletcher, Sarah Smith, Donna Lamping
30 September 2007
The paper is authored by James Lloyd of ILC-UK. The paper focuses on wide range of challenges to public policy relating to changing patterns in asset accumulation, including: long-term care funding; intergenerational solidarity; the debt burden on the young; equity release; means-testing of older people; the implications of rising property prices for retirement income.
The paper argues that that significant changes to patterns of asset accumulation across the life course have occurred. For instance, younger cohorts have benefited from rising real incomes. However, where these increasing incomes are used to obtain and pay off increasingly large mortgages, it is debatable as to who is actually receiving the benefit of these increases; the housing market enables others to capture the benefit. Yet, given the static real incomes of older cohorts, it is not clear who really benefits from rising property prices, aside from the small minority owning two or more properties. Today’s younger cohorts, forced to skew their retirement saving toward property, may find themselves in the same position as today’s older cohorts, with large volumes of illiquid wealth that are failing to contribute to any extra income in retirement.
ILC-UK is extremely grateful to its partners Prudential and Partnership supporting the analysis underlying this paper, and to the National Centre for Social Research for undertaking the statistical analysis.
31 July 2007
This report, published in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government, explores how the built environment could offer a more accessible, inclusive space for the frail or disabled, but looks further into what role services, amenities, social cohesion and sense of place play in the creation of 'lifetime neighbourhoods', and how they might interact to create communities that maximise health, wellbeing and social engagement.
This paper has been published in partnership with the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Government department responsible for local government, housing, urban regeneration, planning and fire and rescue.