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What we say about… Healthy ageing

Healthy ageing · Position statements | September 29, 2023

Our key messages

  • The proportion of older adults in the UK is projected to reach 24.7% by 2049 – this will bring benefits as well as challenges. 


  • A whole system approach is needed to support older adults to remain independent and healthy.  


  • A renewed focus is needed on prevention across the life course to support people to age healthily and to delay or prevent the onset of long-term conditions.  


  • Public health should promote the importance of ageing well and highlight the contribution and skills of older people.  

Our national recommendations

  • The social care funding system should be reformed with a focus on prevention to deliver the care and support older people deserve.  


  • More positive rhetoric is needed when discussing ageing to avoid negative stereotyping around older people and their abilities.


  • The NHS should ensure that prevention forms a key part of its plans to ensure good health and reduce long-term conditions in old age.


  • Addressing loneliness should be considered as a preventative measure in shifting from acute and long-term care to self-help and support in communities.


  • Governments across the four nations should work with businesses to support the ageing workforce through training and learning.


  • A more strategic approach is needed to deliver appropriate housing provision for the ageing population.


  • Transport systems need to be future proofed to ensure they are appropriate for the ageing population.


  • Governments across the four nations should invest in the prevention of the modifiable risk factors identified in the Lancet Commission to help to reduce cases of dementia.


  • Public health should promote the importance of ageing well and highlight the contribution and skills of older people

Our local recommendations

  • Effective integration of health and social care services and a whole system, place-based approach should be adopted to improve older people’s health and wellbeing. 


  • Local pathways for older people’s health and wellbeing should not just focus on ways to reduce emergency admissions and demand but focus on the wellbeing of older people. 



  • Local public health authorities, healthcare professionals and social workers should use Making Every Contact Count and opportunistic interventions to engage with older people around health and wellbeing.


  • Local public health authorities should continue to deliver targeted interventions around fuel poverty.


  • Local public health authorities should work with hospitals and the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to tackle malnourishment of older people in the community.


  • The VCS should be supported to scale up evidence-based interventions such as social prescribing to tackle loneliness. 
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