Friday, October 4, 2013

Health in an ageing society

When we hit milestone birthdays, for many of us it's often a reminder of how, when we were younger, we just kind of thought we'd be young forever. Over time though, the inevitability of getting older becomes more and more apparent - it could be the appearance of grey hairs, wrinkles where once there was smoothness. Getting older is just part of life, and healthy living is a priority - no matter how many years we've been around for.

As a society, though, we're ageing. A lot of this is down to very positive things - better understanding of nutrition, greater wealth, and advances in medical and drug technology have meant that life expectancy is on the increase. For governments this will be a challenge as time progresses - and changes are already in place to help make sure people have more in older age. One example of this is the alteration to the retirement age - so while retirement was hitherto compulsory, there's now no fixed retirement age, although in certain jobs there may be one for health and safety reasons.

And as time passes there are bound to be big changes in the way that health in the UK is managed - specifically as regards care for the elderly. As this UK parliament page on the ageing population indicates, the number of centenarians - of projections prove accurate - is going to increase fast enough to make them quickest growing age group in the country. And to think that just a few short decades ago reaching triple figures was an unusual enough birthday that you'd get a personal message from the monarch.

The issue of ageing made the headlines again this week click here for a BBC news story on the topic, which quotes a survey result showing over three quarters of respondents believe that government 'isn't ready to cope with changing demographics'.

For more on health and wellbeing in this topic area, check out the Age UK charity's site.

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