We are delighted to announce that our Chief Executive, Baroness Sally Greengross OBE has been awarded a special Lifetime Achievement award by the British Geriatric Society (BGS), on the occasion of their 70th anniversary celebrations.
At a ceremony attended by patients, members of the BGS, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, HRH The Prince of Wales presented Baroness Greengross with the award for her contribution to improving services for older people, and her ongoing support for the BGS.
Baroness Greengross sits as a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords, and serves as Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People.
Date :20 March 2017
The Rt Hon. Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the NHS Confederation and former Secretary of State for Health and former Chair of the Health Select Committee, and Dwayne Johnson, Director of Adult Social Care, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council have agreed to join our fantastic list of speakers at the Future of Ageing conference.
Dr Margaret McCartney, GP, author and regular contributor on Radio 4’s Inside Health, will also present at the conference. Dr Islene Araujo de Carvalho of the Department of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organisation will also focus on health and care issues, taking a more global perspective.
Conference attendees will also hear from:
- John Cridland CBE, Head of the Independent State Pension Age Review
- John Pullinger CB, National Statistician, UK Statistics Authority
- Professor Sarah Harper, Director, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing
- Linda Woodall, Director of Life Insurance and Financial Advice, and sponsor of the Ageing Population project, Financial Conduct Authority
- Jonathan Stevens, Senior Vice President, Thought Leadership, AARP
- David Sinclair, Director, International Longevity Centre - UK
- The Rt Hon. the Lord Carey of Clifton, Archbishop of Canterbury 1991-2001
Join as at the Future of Ageing Conference on Wednesday, 9th November. Our Earlybird prices must end on 31st August, so sign up now to take advantage of this special discounted rate.
Date :24 August 2016
Research from Cass Business School and the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) has found growing inequalities in adult life expectancy.
Based on data from the Human Mortality Database, Professor of Statistics Les Mayhew and Dr David Smith measured the differences in age between the earliest 10% of adult deaths and the top 5% of survivors.
They found that while people in the UK are living longer than ever, the gap between the longest and shortest lifespans appears to be increasing. In particular, the life expectancy of those in the lowest and the highest socio-economic groups is diverging for the first time since the 1870s.
The full report, An investigation into inequalities in adult lifespan, is published today.
- In England and Wales, 5% of men that have attained the age of 30 are living on average to 96.0 years, 33.3 years longer than the lowest 10%.
- This gap grew by 1.7 years between 1993, when it was at its narrowest, and 2009.
- It is the first time since the 1870s that the gap in life expectancy is widening
- Unhealthy lifestyles are the main causes of this widening gap.
- For women, the longest surviving are reaching 98.2 years-old, 31 years longer than the lowest. The female gap reached its narrowest in 2005, but has since levelled out
- Men in lower socio-economic groups are most likely to make damaging lifestyle choices.
Report author Professor Mayhew said:
“We looked at data from the 1870s onwards comparing England and Wales with France and Italy. It was clear that the first half of the 20th Century was characterised by a narrowing of the gap in life span as everyone benefited from improvements in clean drinking water, better housing, higher incomes and better health. Despite general rises in life expectancy after 1950, the life expectancy gap between men and women widened whilst inequalities in lifespan persisted rather than narrowing further.
“We found that since the 1990s lifespan inequalities in men have actually worsened in England and Wales. This is partly due to some men now living to exceptionally old ages and in many cases equalling women but at the other end of the distribution there has been a lack of progress. The research blames the widening disparity on poor life style choices rather than ambient risks which were prevalent in the first half of the 20th Century. Key amongst these is smoking, drinking and poor diet – choices that are more likely to be made by the poorest in society.
A previous UK Government set a target in 2003 that by 2010 inequalities in health outcomes should be reduced by 10% as measured by life expectancy at birth. Not only was the target missed but in fact the opposite has happened. The research concludes the answer is not so much about redistributing healthcare expenditure but more about changing lifestyle habits. The research argues that more powerful policy tools aimed at behavioural change are needed to steer people towards healthier lifestyles."
Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC-UK Chief Executive added:
“This very timely report highlights how, despite huge increases in life expectancy, the gap between rich and poor is increasing for the first time since the 1870s. This trend is particularly worrying for society and policymakers must do more to begin to narrow this gap again. Preventing inequalities in ill health and disability must be a priority for policy action”.
Additional findings including comparisons to France and Italy:
- Male life expectancy in England and Wales at age 30 is currently higher than in either France or Italy, although the margin of difference post 1950 is usually about one year or less. Female life expectancy in France and Italy is currently higher than in England and Wales and has improved by greater amounts since 1950.
- In absolute terms the male age inequality gap is currently higher in France than in England or Wales which in turn is higher than in Italy. Currently it is 37.0 years in France as compared with 33.3 years in England and Wales and only 31.7 years in Italy. The fact that male age inequalities in Italy continued to narrow in period B by more than in period A is especially worthy of note.
- In absolute terms, the female age inequality gap is currently lowest in Italy, standing at 28.2 years as compared with 30.6 years in France and 31.0 years in England and Wales. The level of improvement in Italy and France since 1950 has been notably higher than in England and Wales. In Italy, for example, the gap closed by 5.8 years but in England and Wales by only 3.1 years.
- If gender differences in age related inequalities are compared, we find that the gap is currently bigger in France than in either Italy or England and Wales and that it also continues to widen. In England and Wales the gender gap in age inequalities has been the lowest of all three countries and remarkably similar throughout periods A and B. However, this similarity ceased after 1990 when the male gap started to re-widen.
Date :03 May 2016
Responding to the latest Aviva Working Lives report, David Sinclair, Director, International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), said:
Ten years on from final Pension Commission report, we see more people saving due to the success of auto-enrolment. Now is the time to build on this success.
Almost half of those working later than they hoped, are doing so because they haven’t saved enough. Whilst we have more people saving, the levels are woefully inadequate, particularly given we are living longer. Investment returns remain relatively low so even those who are saving aren’t getting the return they hoped for.
With the Cridland review exploring further increases to state pension age, future pensioners should be prepared to need to work longer. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As the research points out, for many older people, working longer provides a “feelgood factor”.
Government and employers must find ways of ensuring that older people aren’t forced out of the workforce prematurely. The benefit of extending working lives goes beyond the benefit to individuals. UK plc faces a significant economic hit if we don’t better adapt workplaces to cope with demographic change.
On 10th June, ILC-UK are organising their second Retirement Income Summit.
Date :22 March 2016
The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is organising its first major all day conference on The Future of Ageing, on Tuesday 24th November 2015 in London.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Baroness Altmann (Minister or Pensions);
- Professor Sir Mark Walport (Government Chief Scientific Adviser [GCSA] and Head of the Government Office for Science);
- David Willetts (Executive Chair at Resolution Foundation, and former Minister of State [Department for Business, Innovation and Skills]);
- Lord Filkin (Chair of the Centre for Ageing Better and Chair of the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change);
- Paul Johnson (Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies);
- Steve Groves (Chief Executive Officer at Partnership);
- Professor Jane Elliott (Chief Executive, Economic and Social Research Council);
- Steven Baxter (Partner, Hymans Robertson); and
- Professor Ian Philp (Deputy Medical Director for Older People’s Care, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust) will be speaking at the conference.
The conference will be chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross (Chief Executive, ILC-UK) and Lawrence Churchill (Trustee, ILC-UK).
ILC-UK are grateful to McCarthy & Stone and Partnership for their sponsorship of this conference.
Bookings can be made through the ILC-UK website.
Date :09 October 2015
On Tuesday 29th September, ILC-UK and a number of our Partners, colleagues, friends and supporters were honoured to be hosted by Samantha Cameron at 10 Downing Street, for a reception in celebration of Baroness Greengross’ 80th birthday.
Samantha Cameron spoke about the importance of ILC-UK’s work, and noted that the challenges posed by an ageing population will affect all of us. She highlighted some of the issues that Government and civil society must address now to ensure a sustainable future and a high quality of life for all in later age, and notably discussed the need to address dementia.
Baroness Greengross described the event as an early celebration of the UN’s International Older Peoples’ Day on the 1st October. She mentioned how serious illness in our 50’s and 60’s has fallen, more older people are choosing to work longer, and more people are saving.
She also outlined the challenges an ageing population poses, and joined Samantha Cameron in calling for a continued collaborative effort to address dementia. She took the opportunity to thank all those in attendance for the vital contribution and support they provide to ILC-UK, and invited everyone to look to the future at ILC-UK’s Future of Ageing conference on the 24th November.
Date :05 October 2015
- Think tank urges continued focus on preventing ill health as research highlights that ill health and inactivity is not inevitable.
- Age UK announce plans for annual “Greengross Lecture”
A new factpack published today by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) (1) illustrates the realities of living to 80 for the 367,000 people reaching the milestone age this year.
Inspired by ILC-UK Chief Executive and founder, Baroness Sally Greengross, who turned 80 on the 29th of June this year, 80 at Eighty (2) gives 80 facts about life in your 9th decade.
Across the world, the number of people aged 80 plus has increased from 15 million (1950) to 110 million (2011). By 2050 the number aged over 80 is estimated to reach 400 million.
This factpack incorporates new analysis by ILC-UK of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing by ILC-UK. 80 at Eighty reveals:
Many English 80 year olds remain very active…
- In England over 16,000 people aged 80+ are still in paid employment.
- People aged 80+ may be more satisfied with their sex lives, as 67.9% report the frequency to be about right, in contrast to 54.5% of those aged 50-64.
- More than half (55%) of men aged 80+ are married (or in a civil partnership) vs. 21% of women.
But health problems are common…
- Around 16% of those aged 80-84 have already survived a heart attack.
- 49% of women and 38% of men aged 80+ are often troubled with physical pain.
- 50.8% of men and 56.7% of women aged 80 and over report having a limiting long standing illness.
- Over one in ten of those aged 80-84 have some kind of dementia
Alongside Baroness Greengross, Julie Andrews, the Dalai Lama, Woody Allen and Norman Foster turn 80 this year. Elvis would have been 80 this year.
80 at Eighty was launched at a reception hosted by Age UK this week. During the reception, Age UK announced plans for the introduction of an annual “Greengross” lecture.
Baroness Altmann CBE, Minister of State for Pensions said
“I welcome this year’s edition of the Factpack, building as it does on the high quality research that has been the hallmark of ILC UK’s work over a number of years. In common with much of ILC UK’s research, this usefully highlights the importance of addressing the challenges and opportunities of our ageing society. Improving quality of later life is an important goal which can benefit increasing numbers of people.”
Baroness Greengross, ILC-UK Chief Executive said
“It is brilliant to see how many 80 year olds remain active. There were 17 runners in this year’s London Marathon aged over 80. But 80 at Eighty also highlights the day to day challenges faced by too many people into their 80s and beyond.
The priority for me, as I pass my own 80th birthday, is to focus policy effort on ensuring more and more 80 year olds are healthier longer. Growing numbers of people aged into their 80s and 90s is great news, particularly if we can better prevent the multiple illnesses that can destroy wellbeing in later life.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director for Age UK said:
“It is fantastic that there are more over-80s in our society than ever before and that this age group is increasing more quickly than any other.
"Growing numbers of these people are making significant contributions to their families and communities - indeed to our country - and in the process they are dismantling ageist stereotypes about what it is to be 'old'.
"No one epitomises this better than Baroness Sally Greengross, who has had a long and distinguished career supporting older people that she shows no sign of giving up, and who herself is joining the over-80s club this year.
"Age UK is therefore delighted to announce that from 2016 we will host an annual Greengross Lecture in Sally's honour. Our intention is that the Lecture will champion later life and the person or people who have made a really big difference to it that year - a fitting tribute we hope to all that Sally has done and continues to do."
Date :03 July 2015
The Charity Act’s reference to ‘need because of age’ is patronising and should be removed—new report
Removing the reference would help charities lead banishing age stereotypes and prepare for our ageing population, argues the final report from the Commission on Voluntary Sector & Sector.
Decision time, published today by the Commission, suggests this change as one way to make sure voluntary organisations are geared-up to combat ageism and avoid alienating older staff, volunteers and donors.
New analysis in the report estimates that volunteering and donations from people over 65 could grow by over £6bn in the next two decades, but warns that charities will miss out on this money without reforming the way it works with older supporters.
Decision time makes a range of suggestions aimed at the voluntary sector, funders and government, to help civil society negotiate the opportunities and pitfalls posed by the UK’s ageing population. These include:
- Charities must adapt how they work with older volunteers and donors. Today’s retirees are more discerning and discriminating than ever before about giving time and money, and charities should maintain more interactive, reciprocal relationship with the people who support them
- The voluntary sector should market itself as the ‘sector of choice’ for people shifting jobs in the last year before they retire. Charities could lead retraining for teachers, care-workers and other under-staffed professions
- Government can support the efforts of charities by considering incentives to volunteer. This may include piloting tax breaks for volunteers or carer credits
- Funders should pilot more early intervention projects, to identify the most effective work and prevent future problems before they emerge
Exclusive analysis for the Commission estimates that, compared to 2013:
- the value of charity volunteering by over 65s will be £15.72bn by 2033, an increase of £5.32bn
- the value of charity donations by over 65s will be £3.49bn by 2033, an increase of £1.18bn
Professor Lynne Berry, Chair of the Commission, said:
‘By 2033, 1 in 4 of us will be over 65 years old. The voluntary sector achieves amazing things every day, but in the course of the last 18 months the Commission has found that there is lots to do if the sector is to cope with, and make the most of, our ageing population. It needs to act quickly.
‘Charities can start by looking at their own day-to-day practices: are older people just there to be helped, or do they play their part working with charities as well? Does the charity resemble the community it serves? And they can think about the current batch of older supporters and ask whether they are doing enough to maintain them as volunteers and donors for the future.
‘Most public discussion of the ageing population sees it as a problem, but it could be a brilliant opportunity for the voluntary sector to focus on the future and the impact it wants to have. Hopefully the ideas in our report will help kick-start those conversations’
Date :19 March 2015
Growing divorce rates in old age could contribute to increasing isolation and a greater need for formal care, argues the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK). In a new report, the think tank also warns of the potentially negative health and money repercussions of this trend.
In a new report “the rise and rise of the silver separator”, ILC-UK find:
- From 1990 to 2012, the number of men and women experiencing divorce aged 60 or above has risen by over 85% and the rate continues to rise;
- Based on current marriage and divorce rates by age, the total number of people over the age of 60 experiencing divorce will increase from 15,700 in 2012, to over 22,000 by 2037 – a 41% rise;
- By 2037, almost 1 in every 10 people experiencing divorce will be aged over 60.
“The rise and rise of the silver separator”, has been published today as part of the ILC-UK Population Patterns Seminar Series, with the support of Partnership.
This new analysis suggests that while divorce rates amongst the total population has been declining, it has been increasing among older people. Since 1982, the divorce rate amongst men aged over 60 has risen by 0.6 per 1000 marriages while it has fallen by over 1 per 1000 marriages across the total male married population. Divorce rates for men in their middle to to late 50s has also risen over this time – increasing by more than 3 per 1000 marriages since 1982.
Population change as well as increasing divorce rates has contributed to the rise in divorce and in the report, ILC-UK set out the main driving factors in increasing divorce rates among older people:
- With people marrying later in life, they are more exposed to the risk of divorce at older ages because their marriage is still relatively fresh.
- Rising employment amongst women equates to more financial independence as women do not have to rely on their spouse to provide income through work.
- Given that there is a small chance of divorce during each year of marriage, with people living longer, more marriages are likely to end in divorce and less likely to end in the death of a spouse.
- Changes in social attitudes towards divorce
Speaking at the launch of the research, Ben Franklin of ILC-UK said:
“A growing number of older people experiencing divorce presents significant challenges at an individual and societal level. Increasing divorce rates and numbers might result in greater isolation, illness and a need for more formal care. Individuals don’t expect to divorce so when it happens, many find themselves in very difficult financial circumstances. At any age it is vital that individuals seek out relationship support. The rising number of divorces amongst the over 60s is something that policymakers, charities and services providers should factor-in when considering the potential vulnerabilities facing older people.”
Richard Willets, Director of Longevity, Partnership added
“While divorce at any age is likely to be a painful experience, the older you are the more likely it is to have a negative impact on your health, wealth and general well-being. As separation is generally not something that people plan for, they are likely to need the support of their family and friends as well as potentially need more state assistance. Divorce in later life is therefore something that needs to be more fully understood and factored into Government planning going forward.”
The report was debated at an event in the House of Lords on 18th November 2014.
Date :19 November 2014
A growing generation of older men is facing a future of increased isolation. Meanwhile, the number of older men aged 65+ living alone is projected to rise by 65% between now and 2030. That’s according to new research conducted by Independent Age and the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK), which shows that:
• The number of older men living alone is expected to rise from 911,000 to 1.5 million by 2030.
• Older men are more socially isolated than older women.
• Older men have significantly less contact with their children, family and friends than older women.
• The number of older men outliving their partners is expected to grow.
One year on from Jeremy Hunt’s speech where he called loneliness among older people “a national shame” – Isolation: The Emerging Crisis for Older Men is a comprehensive new report exploring the experiences of older men who are socially isolated or lonely in England.
The research is based on the latest data from the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (ELSA), interviews with older men, focus groups and existing research.
In England, in 2012/2013, over 1.2 million men aged over 50 reported a moderate to high degree of social isolation. 710,000 men aged over 50 reported a high degree of loneliness.
In the report, loneliness is defined as a subjective perception in which a person feels lonely. Social isolation broadly refers to the absence of contact with other people.
The new research reveals that older men report significantly less social contact with children, family members and friends than older women. Almost 1 in 4 older men, 23%, have less than monthly contact with their children, and nearly 1 in 3, 31%, have less than monthly contact with other family members. For women the figures are 15% and 20% respectively. Also 1 in 3 older men without a partner are the most isolated, compared to over 1 in 5 women (37% v 23%).
The report looks at the importance of partnerships and examines how older men’s social networks tend to decline after the death of a partner. It calls on men to take steps to prevent isolation and loneliness and recommends action that government, charities and service providers can take to better address the needs of older men.
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:
“It’s alarming to think there are growing numbers of lonely older men who may be facing a future alone and without proper support. This new evidence suggests men and women experience social isolation and loneliness in different ways.
“In general, men rely more heavily on their partner to remain socially connected. When their partner dies, often a man’s social life shrinks.
“Our new research highlights the importance of social contact to older men. Poor physical and mental health is much more likely for the most socially isolated and lonely men. In terms of medical services, the evidence shows that older men are less likely to seek help or ask for support. And it’s already known that men are 30% more likely to die after being recently widowed.
“We would welcome more research into the kinds of services that would attract older men to remain more connected to those around them in later life. Sometimes services such as lunch clubs and coffee mornings while providing a very valuable function, may be designed with the social preferences of women in mind rather than the purposeful activity that men may prefer. We also want the government to follow up on their promise and develop a new measure to capture the extent of loneliness across the population as a whole.”
Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK, said:
“Too many older men continue to experience social isolation and loneliness in later life. While we should encourage men to plan better for retirement, we must also accept that many of our services simply don’t work for men.
“Health services and GPs can play an important role in outreach by identifying patients most at risk and providing support in partnership with the voluntary sector. Other statutory bodies should also work with the voluntary sector to develop low-cost innovations to encourage older men to support each other through the creation of clubs and other social programmes.
“Professional bodies should also consider creating post-retirement clubs for their workforce, particularly in male-dominated industries. These could have the potential to keep older men socially connected in post-work life, as well as offering support at certain later life events, such as widowhood, that can impact older men’s exposure to isolation and loneliness.”
Date :13 October 2014
Charities will flourish or wither at hands of ‘super boomers’— New paper from the Commission on Voluntary Sector & Ageing.
The independent Commission on Voluntary Sector & Ageing, established by the think tanks NPC and ILC-UK, today warns charities to improve the way they work with volunteers, or risk losing the time and goodwill of the ‘super boomer’ generation.
The new paper, A better offer, warns:
- UK charities urgently need to step-up preparations for the future, warns independent commission. ‘Without adapting, charities may find a large part of their voluntary workforce deserting them'
- ‘Super boomers’ could be next generation of charity volunteers, but face unprecedented pressure to work longer and care for their families, with childcare a major burden reducing the time available to help charities
- With volunteering by older people currently valued at £10bn a year, charities face an uncertain future unless they make a more compelling offer to potential volunteers
- New survey data shows that larger charities seem to be weathering the storm—for now
Drawing on a series of discussions with volunteers and charities, as well as a survey of 12 of the largest charities in the UK, A better offer argues that volunteering can harness the talents of the most skilled and professionally experienced generation ever. It can also help solve social problems including integration and loneliness in older people.
However, charities will need to adapt or face losing out on these potential gains. A better offer raises concerns that charities are under-prepared to attract volunteers who will be more demanding than previous generations, and will already be committed to later retirement and the burdens of covering childcare for their grandchildren.
Charities also need to prepare for a period when demographic change will mean that there may be a shortage of younger volunteers, an issue of particular importance to charities who work with children.
The Commission also surveyed 12 of the UK’s largest charities, who collectively control hundreds of millions of pounds a year and work with tens of thousands of volunteers. Most reported that their volunteer numbers were up compared to three years ago—bucking a trend which has seen volunteering falling across the sector as a whole, and raising serious concerns about the burden placed on smaller charities. The surveyed charities also voiced their worries about the care duties and grandparenting roles that would eat into the time of potential volunteers in the future.
Dan Corry, Chief Executive of NPC and a member of the Commission, said:
‘Older people have traditionally volunteered for charities in their droves. Without the massed ranks of retirees who stuff envelopes and take minutes in meetings, thousands of charities would struggle to survive. But society in changing, and charities need to change with it. If we get this right the future looks rosy. But get it wrong, and act too late, and there’s a real risk that charities will find their volunteer army heading for the hills. Charities can start by considering the small things—getting older and younger volunteers to work together to share skills, making sure volunteers are better recognised for all their time and effort. Older volunteers are among the most generous volunteers, giving thousands of hours to causes they care for, often in menial tasks and with relatively little in return. But charities are naïve if they think that the next generation will put up with the same thing’.
David Sinclair, Director of ILC-UK, said:
‘The “baby” and “super” boomers may provide a new wave of volunteers who could greatly benefit the charity sector by bringing a plethora of skills and knowledge. This is a valuable opportunity and it is up to us to design roles that make use of these skills and build an environment which is attractive to volunteer in’
Date :15 August 2014
SOS 2020 is a major new programme of work led by ILC-UK which will raise awareness of the need to adapt our economy and society to the big strategic challenges posed by an ageing population.
SOS 2020 will outline the specific policy measures needed to achieve this goal. It will illuminate the issues that face us and develop fully considered and costed solutions that will act as a “call to action” to policy-makers and politicians. Above all SOS 2020 aims to raise national and international awareness of problems and possible solutions in which we all have a vested interest.
In an increasingly interdependent world, there is a need to look beyond national shores for collective consensus and joint solutions. SOS 2020 will give us the opportunity to do this.
ILC-UK launched SOS 2020 in July 2014, with the support of Aviva and EY, where we began two projects:
- Financial Sustainability - which will focus on how we can deliver sustainable yet adequate retirement incomes
- Health Sustainability – which will focus on fostering innovation in health and social care systems
The aim of this project is to draw out some credible scenarios about resilience in retirement over the next twenty years in response to the new freedoms at the point of retirement. We envisage creating three credible scenarios, each with clear driving forces which combine to shape the future in different ways. These scenarios will be qualitative and quantitative – utilising compelling stories and narratives alongside robust modelling work in order to demonstrate the impact of the different scenarios on financial resilience. This will enable us to make important recommendations to policy makers and to show the various impacts of making different policy choices.
The aim of this project is to create a bank of robust innovative case studies of sustainable health systems, fully costed, and then apply these to different countries from which we can assess their suitability to drive innovation at the global level. We will identify innovations across four agreed thematic areas, these will include: the prevention agenda, dementia, technology, information analysis, health literacy, integrated care, research and drug development and incorporate the wider financing of health and social care (for example which systems incentivise a sustainable approach, insurance systems and self-care systems).
By identifying sustainable innovations in health and care from across the world and then trying to apply these in different country settings, we ultimately hope to offer robust and verifiable models that will improve performance (better health outcomes and reduced costs) at a time of growing pressure.
While undertaking these projects ILC-UK will continue to seek support for other strands of work as part of SOS 2020. This programme of work has the potential to be a leading catalyst with an evidence led, solution orientated approach, not only in the fields of health and retirement featured today, but also in Communities, the built environment and transport systems which, collectively, will shape the quality of life for us and our children.
If you would like more information on any aspect of the project please do get in touch:
- Ben Franklin (email@example.com) will be leading on Sustainable Retirement Income.
- Sally-Marie Bamford (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be leading on Sustainable Healthcare.
- Jonathan Scrutton (email@example.com) will be the overall coordinator for the project.
Date :08 August 2014
Responding to today’s Fiscal Sustainability Report, Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) said:
“The future costs of our ageing society should rightly be worrying for policymakers. But they are not all inevitable.
If we don’t do much more to support longer working lives and aid innovation in health, care and financial services, our economy will certainly suffer. Future generations will not thank us for inaction today.
These figures highlight that the UK isn’t ready for ageing. Policymakers have some tough decisions to make but procrastinating is not helping anyone.
There is a role for all of us. That’s why, on the back of these figures, ILC-UK are delighted to announce the launch of a major two year project to explore how we can ensure the future sustainability of our ageing society. Learning lessons from across the world, SOS 2020 (Sustainable Older Society 2020) will set out a plan of costed solutions aimed at Governments, the private and the public sector.”
Date :10 July 2014
Local and national policy-makers are failing to ensure that our communities meet the needs of all ages according to a new report, Community Matters. Making our Communities Ready for Ageing.
Community Matters, published by the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK), with the support of Age UK, incorporates a 10 point call to action for local authorities to become ready for ageing.
The report argues that policy makers must work to ensure that communities do more than cater for our basic needs. It argues that communities should be places of fun for all. The report highlights the importance of supporting walking and cycling in old age as well as need to ensure housing is adaptable to an ageing society.
New analysis published as part of the report reveals that simply to keep up with anticipated population growth between now and 2037, we will need to build houses at the fastest rate since the 1970s.
The report explores the Government's plan for a new Garden City in Ebbsfleet and highlights ideas to make the new community "age friendly". Ideas include the creation of shared facilities for fun and play, and the introduction of Electric 'pods' to transport people around.
Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK said "Our homes are not just places to live and our towns and cities should not just provide for our basic needs. We must have a bold and aspirational vision for communities in an ageing society. Cities and towns must of course, meet our basic needs. Yet they are failing to do so. We are even failing to provide public toilets. But our aspiration for age friendly cities must be much greater than providing toilets.
Communities can reduce loneliness and isolation but we must make sure that services exist and well intentioned "safeguarding" does not prevent all ages from living, working and playing together. And we need community centres rather than "places to hire".
Good communities start with good housing. As well as building more, we need to build better.
Our society is ageing. Our communities could help us age well but they are simply not ready for ageing. We must build a new ambition vision of the community of the future. An older community, but also hopefully a more fun one.”
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK says "Our population is ageing and it is essential that communities start to think now about how best to enable older people to get out and about and access essential services. The alternative is that as we age we are increasingly stuck at home and cut off from the rest of society limiting our ability to enjoy life, to socialise and stay independent for longer. More toilets and seats will be essential for all of us but we should be more ambitious for later life and start building communities that do more than just work for older people but provide greater opportunities for participation”.
Malcolm Dean, who chaired the expert discussions added: "The last century saw major breakthroughs in dealing with the injuries of biological ageing. This new century needs to apply the same energy and commitment to resolving the injuries of social ageing - isolation, loneliness, and exclusion from too many community activities. The report is packed with simple and inexpensive new approaches to making neighbourhoods more 'age friendly'".
The report incorporates an ideas bank of recommendations in order to ensure that our Communities are "Ready for Ageing including:
- Making our communities fun (swings at bus stops): Local authorities should support provision of desegregated apparatus for fun in outdoor spaces that includes people of all ages
- Build more homes and ensure they are accessible and adaptable: The Lifetime Homes Standard should be made mandatory and Government should introduce a tax incentivised voucher scheme for housing adaptations.
- Let us know about our housing options (a "last time movers" guide): Estate agents should be trained to better understand the potential needs of the older consumer and could better promote the Lifetime Homes Standard.
- Get us walking: Replace the older people crossing road sign with a sign with more positive imagery promoting walking as part of later life. Develop budding services to encourage people to walk to town and services. Maintain pavements.
- Get us on our bikes: Increasing numbers of cyclists across the life-course should be prioritised as a public health, environmental and social goal by Health and Wellbeing Boards and Local Authorities.
- Ensure access to green space: Recognise the health benefits of access to green space, and placing some spending on green space under the umbrella of health.
- Tackle loneliness and isolation: Community centres should protect time for local group activities to maintain the space as community resource (as opposed to a hall for hire). Safeguarding systems should not unnecessarily 'kill kindness' by stopping young and old working, living and playing together.
Date :03 July 2014
Responding to new ONS data on Health Inequalities published today, Ben Franklin, Senior Research Fellow at the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) said:
“This data reveals that inequalities in health are most stark amongst the pre-retirement age bracket (ages 35-59).
Across the most deprived areas, 40.7% of people aged 50-54 rated their health as “not good” compared with just 11.6% of those living in the least deprived areas (see chart 1 below). Levels of deprivation then start to converge after retirement with increasingly similar proportions rating their health as “not good” after age 65 (see chart 2 below).
The data illustrates the importance of tackling health problems in the most deprived communities, way in advance of retirement. It also helps to explain why healthy life expectancy at 65 is so much lower across some local authorities than it is for others. While there are increasing pressures to work beyond “traditional” retirement age, inequalities in health are likely to mean that for many people living in deprived areas this will be highly challenging.”
On 10th February 2014, a new report from ILC-UK argued that increasing the state pension age without taking into account the 18 year difference in healthy life expectancy across the UK, risked disadvantaging groups of older people.
The report “Linking state pension age to longevity: Tackling the fairness challenge”, published as part of the Age UK Research Fellowship demonstrated that measures such as healthy life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy vary significantly by region and social class, and in consequence particular groups are more likely to be disadvantaged by a rise in the state pension age than others.
The ONS have today (14 February) published: Health deprivation divide widest for middle aged.
Date :14 February 2014
The members of the Commission for the Voluntary Sector & Ageing have today been announced on the day as the formal work of the enquiry begins. The Commission was established by the charity think tank, NPC, in partnership with ILC-UK, and is chaired by Lynne Berry OBE. It aims to provide strategic thinking about how voluntary organisations in England can prepare for and adapt to an ageing society in the next 20 years.
The Commissioners have been selected to bring a range of perspectives and experiences and to reflect the fact that the Commission is not just about older people but also about the huge impact an ageing society will have on the voluntary sector. It is hoped that this forward thinking approach might, in turn, be replicated in other sectors. The Commissioners are:
- Stephen Burke: Director of United for All Ages, a social enterprise that brings older and younger people together, and Good Care Guide, a website that enables families to review the childcare and eldercare they use.
- Ken Burnett: Trustee of the Disasters Emergency Committee and founder and a managing trustee of the SOFII Foundation.
- James Cochrane: Vice Chairman of Raleigh International , with a previous 30 year career in the pharmaceutical industry resulting in his appointment to the main Board of Glaxo in charge of international operations.
- Dan Corry: Chief Executive of NPC, previous Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Economy.
- Kristina Glenn MBE: Chief Executive of Cripplegate Foundation in Islington and Chair of London Funders.
- Baroness Sally Greengross: Chief Executive of ILC-UK; crossbench (independent) member of the House of Lords since 2000 and chair of five All-Party Parliamentary Groups: Dementia, Corporate Social Responsibility, Intergenerational Futures, Continence Care and Ageing and Older People (Co-Chair).
- Javed Khan: Chief Executive of Victim Support, a board member of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, the Criminal Justice Council and a London Clinical Commissioning Group.
- Keji Okeowo: Youth Participation Manager of National Council for Voluntary Youth Services.
- Paul Palmer: Professor of Voluntary Sector Management and Associate Dean for Ethics, Sustainability and Engagement, Cass Business School.
- Sonia Sodha: Head of Public Services and Consumer Rights policy at Which?, the Consumers' Association, where she leads their work on public services, health and social care
The Commission will draw together existing research, engage and consult the sector through a series of events, and work with voluntary organisations to develop answers as to how the sector can lead the way in adapting to an ageing population. It will publish its initial findings in March 2014 and an interim report in the run up to the 2015 general election. These will be followed later by a final report with recommendations for the future. The Commission will have three strands of work: building an understanding of how ageing will affect the sector; engaging the sector in thinking about the voluntary sector and ageing; and enabling the sector to respond and adapt. NPC and ILC-UK are also bringing together an expert panel to advise the Commission and ensure it is firmly rooted in the voluntary sector, including representatives from NCVO, Age UK, ACEVO and RVS.
Lynne Berry, Chair of the Commission for the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, said:
‘The scale and nature of the changes brought about by an ageing society will present significant challenges and opportunities for all charities and their funders. The fact that around one-third of babies born in 2012 in the United Kingdom are expected to celebrate their 100th birthday, and that so many people are living longer and healthier lives, is of course good news but we must prepare for the changes this will bring.
‘I am delighted that we have recruited so many wise and interesting people to sit on the Commission for the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, and I look forward to us putting our heads together and getting on with rethinking the future of the voluntary sector.’
Stephen Burke, Director of United for All Ages, said:
‘Our ageing society has implications for people of all ages and therefore for all voluntary organisations. Those implications range from the recruitment of volunteers and maintaining donations to the kind of society we want to build. Bringing older and younger people together will create a stronger Britain, but too often the voluntary sector segments people by age. I hope the Commission will challenge the voluntary sector to change the way it engages with people of all ages.’
Dan Corry, Chief Executive of NPC and member of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, said:
‘It is encouraging that we have got so many talented people on board with this Commission, a reflection of how important this work is. The whole sector needs to wake up to huge changes we will all face by 2033, and I believe that our Commissioners and members of the expert panel will help us prepare for the future.’
Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Chief Executive of ILC-UK and member of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, said:
‘As we move forwards with the Commission’s tasks, it is a privilege and a pleasure to be working alongside individuals with such expertise. The insight of the Commissioners into these issues will ensure that we are able to find strong, focussed answers to the questions around how the voluntary sector adapts to an ageing population.’
Ahead of the Commission’s first meeting today Lynne Berry will also give evidence to the latest hearing of the CAF Growing Giving Inquiry, which focusses on older people and giving.
Interviews available on request. For more information please contact NPC’s Media Relations Manager Vicki Prout at vicki.prout@thinkNPC.org or on 0207 620 4880 or 07764 746 631.
The Commission's website is here.
Date :29 October 2013
'Living Beyond 100' highlights key policy issues arising from growing numbers of people passing the 100 mark
Embargoed 00.01. Tuesday 29th November 2011
Society must adapt to growth in the number of centenarians
New report paints a picture of quality of life of centenarians and the oldest old
Living Beyond 100, a new report, published today as part of the ILC-UK Age UK Fellowship finds that there is some evidence that centenarians continue to enjoy better physical health during centenarian years compared to other groups of older people, effectively avoiding many of the conditions associated with old age.
However, the report highlights that future health and social care services may witness a higher demand from the centenarian population. The report argues that gains being made in the survival rate may not match gains in disease free survival.
The report also points out that quality of life among the oldest old is found to decrease with age and that the oldest old (aged 85 and over) are, as a group, at greater risk of poverty than younger older people (aged 65-85).
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK said: “This report highlights the growing numbers of centenarians in the UK, which is the result of great progress in medicine and improvements in standards of living over the last century. Today one in five twenty years old will reach and surpass the 100 year mark. However, there is a real dearth of evidence on what life is like for centenarians and it is clear that advances that have led to increased longevity must now be matched by similar progress in ensuring people are supported to live full and happy lives as they reach 100 and beyond.”
David Sinclair, Assistant Director – Policy and Communications, at ILC-UK said “Whilst reaching 100 years of age is an aspiration for many, it is one which few people have achieved. With significant growth in the numbers of centenarians ahead, it is vital now that our efforts are focussed on understanding how we support and deliver improvements in quality of life for the oldest old. Government and other policy makers must begin to better adapt services to address this huge demographic change ahead of us.”
Dr Dylan Kneale, Head of Research at ILC-UK added “While advances have been made in researching what factors predict we might reach the age of 100, less attention has been paid to what life is like for centenarians. This report has highlighted a major gap in the evidence base. We simply do not know enough about the oldest old. If society is to adapt to our changing demography we must develop that evidence base”.
Launching the report ILC-UK call for:
- Significant development of the evidence base about centenarians in order to inform current and future ageing strategies.
- Policy-makers to take a more holistic approach to designing interventions that integrate health, care and housing solutions.
- Investment in ways of increasing the accessibility and appeal of social or interest groups to centenarians.
- Developers to plan for growing numbers of centenarians through ensuring that housing and neighbourhoods are better designed and/or adequately adapted to meet the needs of a growing centenarian population
- Energy companies to ensure that their oldest customers access the best deals
- Employers to ensure that they find ways to provide flexible working to ensure that caring responsibilities do not pull people out of the workforce early.
- The Government should introduce a care voucher scheme for adults, similar to childcare vouchers, which would allow people of all ages to buy care vouchers to support the needs of older adults. This may help older carers of centenarians stay in the workplace longer.
What do we know about the oldest old: Key facts taken from “Living Beyond 100”(*1):
- Centenarians currently number 12,640.
- This number is set to rise substantially and expected to reach half a million by 2066.
- One in five young people aged under 20 can expect to become a centenarian.
- Although we can expect a rise in the centenarian population, in the next century we are highly unlikely to see rises in record life expectancy that substantially overtake the current UK record (115 years).
- Sixty per-cent of over 90s report difficulties shopping for groceries, almost a quarter report difficulties making telephone calls and 35% report difficulties managing money.
- Of those living in private households, four in ten very old men and seven out of ten very old women live alone.
- Centenarians have been overwhelmingly female, although there is greater gender balance with each successive cohort of centenarians.
- 47% of centenarians live in communal establishments
- Total net wealth (including state pension wealth) is generally found to decline with age after 65, reaching its lowest for oldest old (85+), who on average have £155,600 compared to the £379,200 of older people aged 65-69.
- Up to 10% of the oldest old have total net wealth of £3,000 or less.
- While the oldest old and centenarians may be those who are at greatest risk of poverty, those aged 90+ were the least likely to feel that they had too little money to spend (15% of those aged 90+, compared to 19% aged 85-89 and 21% aged 80-84).
*1. This data is taken from variety of different sources. Full references are available in Living Beyond 100 which will be available at: http://www.ilcuk.org.uk on 29th December
The International Longevity Centre-UK is the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. It is an independent, non-partisan think-tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change. We develop ideas, undertake research and create a forum for debate.
Age UK is funding a three year research fellowship at the ILC-UK. This fellowship allows us to undertake important research on ageing and longevity. Through the research fellowship, ILC-UK will undertake a number of pieces of policy and research work in agreement with Age UK. The ILC-UK is most appreciative of this opportunity given by Age UK.
The report, Living to 100, will be launched at the Robert Butler Memorial Lecture which will take place in London on 29th November. The event has been organised in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Actuarial Profession.
The ILC-UK was saddened last summer, by the loss of Dr. Robert N. Butler, founder of the first International Longevity Centre in the United States and Pulitzer prize-winning gerontologist. His invaluable contribution has changed the approach and research on ageing and longevity. In tribute to Dr Butler, ILC-UK have organised a memorial lecture and debate, in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, on Centenarians and the Oldest Old. Professor Tom Kirkwood, Associate Dean for Ageing at Newcastle University will be giving the Lecture. To book a place at this event: http://ilcukrobertbutlerlecture.eventbrite.com/
For further information contact David Sinclair: 02073400440. Email: Davidsinclair@ilcuk.org.uk
Or Contact: Natalie Owen‚ Senior Media Officer, Age UK. Tel: 020 3033 1438
Date :29 November 2011
Today marks a year since the death of Dr Robert Butler, champion of social and medical needs for older people, Pulitzer prize winner and President of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance.
Throughout his career Bob Butler was at the forefront of promoting and researching issues affecting older people. He founded the National Institute on Aging at the American National Institutes of Health, becoming its first Director in 1975. His book, Why Survive? Being Old in America won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1976. He also founded the first department of geriatrics in a US medical school, and helped to found a number of key organisations working on ageing research, geriatric psychiatry and Alzheimer’s disease. Bob Butler is credited with the creation of the modern discipline of gerontology, and coined the term ‘ageism’.
At the International Longevity Centres around the globe, he is remembered as a founding member and pioneer of our Global Alliance, which has now grown to 12 members worldwide. Our international consortium is taking new steps, autonomously and collaboratively, to share knowledge and address the issues which Bob Butler brought to the world stage.
Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK said: “As well as being an outstanding academic, medical specialist, policy analyst and writer, Bob Butler was one of the leading advocates on issues relating to older people, demanding an end to discrimination and prejudice and promoting the economic and social benefits of an ageing society across the world. I also had the privilege of knowing him as one of my best friends – one from whom I always learned so much and who I continue to miss a great deal, as I am certain we all do. His inspiration and guidance will remain with us all as we develop the ILC Global Alliance, something to which Bob was totally committed and which, as its work progresses and produces tangible results to the benefit of older people wherever they live, is, I am sure, the best tribute we can pay to a great man and to keep his memory alive.”
The International Longevity Centre – UK will be celebrating Bob’s life and legacy at a memorial lecture by Professor Tom Kirkwood to be held on Tuesday 29th November at the Actuarial Profession at Staple Inn Hall. This lecture will examine issues relating to centenarians and the oldest old.
For more information about the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance, please visit www.ilc-alliance.org
For information about the Bob Butler Memorial Lecture on the 29th November, please email our Events team.
Date :04 July 2011
This event will explore the determinants of mortality and longevity, projecting their future course, and managing the uncertainties.
The symposium will take place 13-14 September, at The University of Warwick.
It will provide an update on the latest thinking across the associated disciplines, a multi-disciplinary forum for the exchange of information on the latest relevant research, and also an opportunity to learn about established knowledge from a range of different disciplines, all with an interest in better understanding and managing this complex yet critical subject.
The event is aimed at all actuaries who are concerned with pricing or reserving for mortality and longevity, underwriters, demographers, epidemiologists, policy-makers, gerontologists, other medical researchers, and all those with an interest in better understanding the determinants of mortality and longevity, projecting their future course, and managing the uncertainties.
For more information and to book your place, please visit:
Date :25 May 2011
Greater Longevity is a Call to Action for Governments, Industry, Global Institutions
NEW YORK (Jan. 26, 2011) – The Global Coalition on Aging announced its launch today as a pioneering new initiative to raise awareness and address the social and economic impact of global population aging. Founding members are AEGON, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Galderma, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Nutricia, Pfizer and Universal American Corp. Deloitte Consulting LLP is serving as an advisory member.
The Global Coalition on Aging will provide leadership, research and advocacy to help nations and industry advance sustainable solutions that address the unprecedented demographic transformation already underway. The Coalition is unique in its focus on aging’s impact on all aspects of life and society: the workplace, health and long-term financial security.
“The emergence of the Coalition is tremendously exciting and fills a critical need at a critical time,” said Dr. John Beard, Director of Ageing and Life Course for the World Health Organization. “It is unique, not just in the breadth of its interests in aging, but also in its philosophy that the best approach is for people to remain engaged and productive as they grow older. We look forward to working closely with the Coalition to press for change in the policy arena.”
The Coalition will foster a re-shaping of public policies to align to the new demographic realities. Over the next three years, the Coalition will roll out a strategic plan to drive social and policy changes in four key areas:
- Education and work
- Financial planning and security
- Health and wellness
- Technology, innovation and biomedical research
“We will share this plan with business, governments and other stakeholders who want to join us in this important new venture,” said Coalition Executive Director Michael Hodin. “We will advance innovative solutions to improve health and wellness, expand work opportunities, and provide ongoing education and financial planning to turn what could be a fiscal and political crisis into platforms for economic growth and intergenerational collaboration.”
It is estimated that there will be two billion people over the age of 60 by mid-century, and they will outnumber children for the first time in history. “These demographic realities call for far-reaching work, lifestyle, business and governmental changes,” said Nicholas Eberstadt, demographer and Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. “We are still living with public policies and social infrastructures that were designed for a different time with different demographics.”
In the United States alone, the number of people over 65 will double from 40 million today to 89 million – one in every five Americans – by 2050. Similar shifts are underway across the globe, though the pace of change differs from country to country. Populations in Europe, Japan and South Korea are further along the aging curve, while countries like China and India, which have younger populations, will experience the aging phenomenon a generation or two later.
According to Baroness Sally Greengross, a Member of the UK House of Lords and President of the International Longevity Centre United Kingdom, the Coalition is making “a great contribution with its optimistic view of aging. These leading global companies are committed to helping this generation and the next live differently, more productively and with greater fulfillment for themselves and society, into their eighties and beyond.”
“As the longevity miracle shapes the 21st century, the Global Coalition on Aging is well positioned to draw upon the best corporate strategies, partner with stakeholders across society and work with governments and policymakers to promote pragmatic solutions,” Hodin said.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL COALITION ON AGING
The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. The Coalition uniquely brings together global corporations across industry sectors with common strategic interests in aging populations, a comprehensive and systemic understanding of aging, and an optimistic view of its impact. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy and communication, the Coalition will advance innovative solutions and work to ensure global aging is a path for fiscally sustainable economic growth, social value creation and wealth enhancement. The Coalition will operate along four pillars of health and wellness, education and work, financial planning and security, and technology and innovation to promote basic reforms to address the 21st century’s age-driven demographic realities. For more information, visit http://www.globalcoalitiononaging.com
Date :26 January 2011
For me, one of Bob’s key messages was that anything was possible, if it helped to further the cause he fought for all his life – a better life for older people and an end to the negative attitudes and discrimination they often face. He believed that we should always celebrate the unprecedented triumph of living in an ageing society. This message was always incredibly strong and permeated all his work.
He could also make others believe they could do anything, as he did me in persuading me to describe best practice across Europe to special Congressional and Senate Committees, each in seven minutes with no preparation. When I expressed some doubts about being able to do that, he said ‘of course you can do it Sally, just tell them what you know’. Somehow I managed, because Bob inspired me, as he did all of us. He was the best mentor ever.
Hearing him inspire audiences across the world was a privilege and he achieved momentous changes in policy and practice. Not only did he coin the word ‘ageism’ but also ‘shortgevity’ and his work was renowned.
But outside work, Bob was one of my dearest friends. He and Myrna first stayed with us in London when Alexandra was two and a half. Last year she and her fiancé returned to London, where a happy reunion reminded me of Bob’s delight in his family, such as, when in London with two charming grandsons, we all climbed to the top of Big Ben.
He was a determined walker covering huge distances, sometimes with me desperately trying to keep up. My husband Alan mapped out many historic walks across London for him. His insistence in maintaining physical and intellectual energy ensured, I believe, that he was able to remain fiercely active, even publishing a book a few days before his death.
My tribute to Bob, and that of my colleagues from the ILCs across the globe, will be to develop, expand and progress the work of the ILC Global Alliance. I am proud to have been involved sine the early days with Bob, Shigeo Morioka from Japan, and Francoise Forette from France, because if Bob’s message to recognise the economic and social force of older people is heeded, the world will surely be more balanced and more humane. The strength of Bob’s call to action demonstrates how future society can benefit from being, in all senses of the word, more mature and through the work of the ILCs we can ensure that Bob’s spirit and leadership will continue to inspire the world.
We owe him that at the very least and that, I promise, we shall do everything in our power to achieve.
Baroness Sally Greengross
Chief Executive, International Longevity Centre – UK
Date :14 October 2010
All of us at the International Longevity Centre - UK were deeply saddened by the sudden death of Dr Robert Butler, a world leader in the field of gerontology, psychiatry and geriatric medicine. His loss deprives us of someone whose influence on policy, practice and research into ageing was unique and for which he was renowned throughout the world.
For me, as Chief Executive of the ILC-UK, his death is in an even more profound loss because he was a personal friend over more than 30 years, and the founder and inspiration of the ILC ‘family’ of centres across the world. He and his wife spent much time when they were in the UK in my home and I had the privilege of knowing his family and benefiting from their warmth and genuine friendship.
I also learned from Bob about the deprivations of his early life in a dysfunctional family, which resulted in him being brought up by his grandparents, who undoubtedly inspired him with their resilience as well as their love. Perhaps it was this love that formed his determination to highlight the need for older people to live in dignity and to be able to fulfil their potential in our societies, where prejudice and discrimination still affect too many of us. His early Pulitzer Prize winning book criticising care homes in the United States, was an example of his huge influence in managing to change things for the better, a determination which stayed with him throughout his life.
I got to know Bob when he was the first Director of the National Institute on Aging, where he achieved an enormous amount but his lifetime of campaigning, demonstrating good practice and challenging any that he found wanting, in his determination to achieve a more positive quality of life for the older population, was marked by a huge number of academic and popular books, articles, speeches and other forms of advocacy. Lately this has included ILC research and policy analysis, which has helped to improve the situation of older people, not just in the US, but around the world. I have had the privilege of sharing platforms with him in many countries, in testifying with him to Senate and Congressional Committees, and watched him making powerful arguments for change for the better to the United Nations, to the World Health Organisation, and to other inter-governmental bodies. His work in this respect has greatly contributed to a wider recognition globally of the importance of demographic change, its benefits and the challenges it presents to us, both at home and internationally.
He was angry at the loss of dignity experienced by so many older people and coined the word ‘ageism’ to describe such negative views and their effects on a sector of the population who should be seen as a dynamic force within national economies as well as a huge resource to civil society. His continuing energy was demonstrated by the fact his latest book was published just three weeks before he died.
Watching him chair a White House Conference on Aging in Washington made me appreciate the affection people had for him, as well as the admiration and respect he so justly commanded. He always had time for family and friends, whether taking grandsons to the Galapagos Islands or spending time with us walking around the sights and historical buildings of London.
To pay adequate tribute to Bob Butler we all need to work hard, continuing to promote the causes he believed in so passionately and proving that the ageing of society is something we can justly celebrate, demonstrating the potential of older people in modern society to promote wealth and prosperity and not to be seen merely as a burden. We all need to ensure that people’s lives remain purposeful and fulfilling, whatever their age and we owe it to Bob Butler to work together to achieve this goal.
Baroness Sally Greengross
International Longevity Centre – UK.
Date :03 August 2010
ILC-UK Chief Executive Baroness Greengross has been presented a special Lifetime Achievement award by HRH The Prince of Wales, on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society.
Date :20 March 2017
The latest information on ILC-UK events, research and analysis.
Date :10 March 2017
Previous ILC-UK Research (1) has shown how household spending steadily falls as we get older.
Today’s “Family Spending” (2) evidence from ONS, shows a similar trend, with households headed by a person aged 75 and over spending substantially less than their younger counterparts.
Date :17 February 2017
Research finds that although 9 in 10 65-79 year olds live in under occupied houses, there could be a retirement housing gap of 160,000 houses by 2030 if Government fails to focus on last time buyers
Date :07 February 2017
We need a Research Fellow with excellent analytical ability and strong writing skills who has a passion for, and understanding of, UK public policy.
Date :26 January 2017
We need an economic analyst to lead on quantitative economic research projects, to feed their analysis into the wider work of the team, and to communicate research findings via engagement with policymakers and media.
Date :26 January 2017