Thursday 13th March 2014; 08:30 (for 09:00 start) - 10:30; House of Lords, Westminster, London

An Independent Age and ILC-UK breakfast meeting, supported by members of the Ready for Ageing Alliance*

One year ago, the House of Lords Committee on Public Services and Demographic Change produced a hard-hitting report which argued that the Government and society was “woefully underprepared” for a rapidly ageing population.

On the first anniversary of the ‘Ready for Ageing?’ report, we are in the unenviable position that sees the United Kingdom ranked unlucky number 13 in a global index of the best countries in the world to grow old in. The principal recommendations in the ‘Ready for Ageing?’ report have not yet been properly addressed or acted on.

In his October 2013 speech on ‘The Forgotten Million’, Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, set down a challenge that the UK should in fact aspire to be best country to grow old in, but the question remains: why are our public services so poorly prepared for major demographic change, and what as a society can we do to ensure future generations of older people thrive in later life?

Lord Filkin, Chair of the Committee on Public Services and Demographic Change, hosted a House of Lords breakfast debate looking forward to 2030, a date by which there will be 50% more people aged 65 and over in England and a doubling in the numbers of people aged 85 and over. As a society, we need to prepare for the next 15 years right now and certainly in the next Parliament.

At this event, Independent Age and ILC-UK, supported by members of the Ready for Ageing Alliance, launched '2030 vision: The best - and worst - futures for older people in the UK', which will look to the long term and consider what politicians and policy makers need to now, both in preparation for next year’s General Election, and between 2015 and 2020, to prepare for the long term opportunities and challenges ahead.

During the debate, we invited contributions on the economic and societal implications of population ageing and the major policy decisions all the main parties face to ready the UK and its public services for dramatic population ageing.

It’s clear that our political, social and cultural approach towards old age today is already hopelessly out of date, so this event will provide Parliamentarians and stakeholders from across civil society with an opportunity to mark the first anniversary of the House of Lords’ Committee report on demographic change and look ahead, so as a society we can seize the opportunities presented by an ageing population.

*The Ready for Ageing Alliance is made up of Independent Age, Alzheimer’s UK, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Carers UK, Age UK, Anchor, Centre for Policy on Ageing and the International Longevity Centre – UK

Presentation slides from the event are available to view below: