NEWS:

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Friday 6th April 2018

Just and ILC-UK ‘Innovating for Ageing’ project calls for submissions on problems relating to consumer vulnerability

Innovating for Ageing – a joint initiative between Just Group and ILC-UK – today launched an invitation for submissions from organisations and individuals who understand the most common problems relating to consumer vulnerability that need to be addressed.

The project aims to identify solutions to the growing problem of vulnerability in later life. To achieve this the project will bring together experts and innovators with organisations best placed to understand the vulnerabilities that affect consumers in later life.

This initial phase will identify the most prevalent and problematic issues faced by people in later life who are at risk of vulnerability due to physical disability, serious illness, dementia or financial exclusion.  Innovators and entrepreneurs from the “solutions community” will then be invited to devise and share solutions to these challenges.

Innovating for Ageing is being led by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK), and the specialist financial services provider Just Group.

ILC-UK and Just Group plan to:

  • Bring together innovators and designers with groups representing vulnerable consumers;
  • Promote better understanding of the issues;
  • Identify solutions to specific problems facing vulnerable consumers;
  • Organise events and awards to recognise collaboration and new thinking;
  • Identify and highlight key lessons and good practice; and
  • Report back on public policy implications.

David Sinclair, Director of ILC-UK, said: “Our ageing society is a driver for increasing levels of vulnerability – more people with dementia, with sight and hearing loss, and multiple long-term health conditions, for example.

“This project aims to seek out technological and policy innovations and solutions, with an aim to removing barriers and ultimately rethinking the products and services that are available on the market. We have already had lots of interest in the project and we are looking forward to receiving input from many people and organisations.”

Stephen Lowe, Group Communications Director at Just Group, said that consumer vulnerability is a growing priority for regulators, with greater focus on how firms handle vulnerability, whether in utilities, transport, financial services or other sectors.

“In financial services and other markets regulators are calling on firms to deliver better products and services,” he said. “This project will be a rallying point for those seeking to respond positively to this challenge, and an opportunity to address the issues vulnerable consumers face, so that they are better treated and get better outcomes when interacting with the market.”

Innovating for Ageing will look at all sectors and disciplines and is inviting proposals from all organisations interested in addressing vulnerability to ensure standards are raised in how vulnerable consumers are treated. The need is clear and demonstrated by research from the Financial Conduct Authority which suggests half of UK consumers – more than 25 million people – currently show “one or more characteristics of potential vulnerability”.

Innovating for Ageing also aims to respond to the vision set out by regulators such as the FCA. In its recent Our Future Approach to Consumers document, the FCA set out its expectation that firms must ensure:

  • Consumers are enabled to buy the products and services they need because the environment in which they are sold is clear, fair and not misleading, with a good choice architecture;
  • High-quality, good value products and services that meet consumers’ needs;
  • Inclusion – where everyone is able to access the financial products they need and the needs of vulnerable consumers are taken into account;
  • Protection – consumers are appropriately protected from harm.

Submissions are being sought ahead of the 29th April deadline, with full details available on the new website www.innovatingforageing.org.

Contact

Dave Eaton at ILC-UK davideaton@ilcuk.org.uk 020 7340 0440 or 07531 164 886.

About

The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is a futures organisation focussed on some of the biggest challenges facing Government and society in the context of demographic change.

Much of our work is directed at the highest levels of Government and the civil service, both in London and Brussels. We have a reputation as a respected think tank which works, often with key partners, to inform important decision-making processes.

Our policy remit is broad, and covers everything from pensions and financial planning, to health and social care, housing design, and age discrimination. We work primarily with central government, but also actively build relationships with local government, the private sector and relevant professional and academic associations.

Just (Just Group plc) is a FTSE-listed specialist UK financial services company created by the merger of Just Retirement Group and Partnership Assurance Group.

A leader in the individual retirement income, care and defined benefit de-risking markets, Just has been trusted to manage over £15 billion of customers’ retirement savings and has helped customers release over £3.5 billion from their properties.

Just provides a wide range of products, advice and professional services to individual customers, financial intermediaries, corporate clients and pension scheme trustees.

www.justgroupplc.co.uk

Notes to Editors

The Innovating for Ageing website was launched in February and now hosts the submissions form for entrants at https://www.innovatingforageing.uk/get-involved/

The programme is currently inviting individuals and representatives from charities and bodies that work with and represent vulnerable people to submit their issues to be addressed.

An announcement will be made through the Innovating for Ageing website and mailing list when innovators and entrepreneurs will be invited to submit their competition applications.

 

See the latest ILC newsletter here. Sign up to our mailing list here.

 

Since our last update, we have published two new reports, one on the international perspectives for stimulating the UK Housing-with-care sector and the other on the Commission on Dementia and Music.

We hosted three high profile events, report launches and the launch of the new "Innovating for Ageing" programme and featured in national and international print and broadcast media.

We are pleased to announce that Ben Franklin was promoted to Assistant Director of Research & Policy at International Longevity Centre - UK.

 

Select Committee acts on ILC-UK evidence

Following its inquiry into housing for older people, the Communities and Local Government Select Committee has published its report into the topic which supports a number of recommendations made by ILC-UK Senior Research Fellow Dr Brian Beach.

Dr Beach submitted written evidence to the inquiry and was subsequently invited to provide oral evidence. The report highlights points made in ILC-UK’s recently published report ‘Stronger Foundations’ which calls for greater clarity around specialist housing terminology, and a legislative framework for extra care housing.

 

ILC-UK and Just launch Innovating for Ageing

On Tuesday, 16th January ILC-UK and Just launched the Innovating for Ageing programme at the Innovation Warehouse in London’s Bishopsgate.

The innovating for Ageing programme seeks to identify and support the development of products and services that will address the challenges faced by ageing consumers at risk of vulnerability due to physical disability, serious illness, dementia or financial exclusion.
The programme will bring together experts, innovators and groups who work to support vulnerable consumers. Applications will shortly be open for innovators to share their product and service before an expert panel of judges will shortlist applicants. The programme’s finalists will then be invited to the final judging and award ceremony, where awards will be presented to innovators whose efforts can help to improve the lives of vulnerable consumers.

For more information on Innovating for Ageing, visit www.innovatingforageing.uk


Recent ILC-UK Publications


Stronger Foundations: International Lessons for the Housing-with-Care Sector in the UK

This report, supported by ARCO discusses the issue of terminology around later life housing and housing-with-care in the UK and other international contexts.

 

What would life be - without a song or dance, what are we?

This new report summarises the work of the Commission on Dementia and Music, set-up and coordinated by ILC-UK, with support from The Utley Foundation.

 

ILC-UK Events

Launch event: The Impact of Deprivation on Demographic Inequalities in Adults

Wednesday, 28th March 2018; 09:15 (for 09:45) - 11:45

Southbank, London

This event will see the launch of 'The Impact of Deprivation on Demographic Inequalities in Adults’, a new report published by ILC-UK and Cass Business School.

During the event, report co-author Professor Les Mayhew Professor of Statistics, Cass Business School, will present on the emerging patterns of inequalities and life expectancy and discuss their wider implications for social and economic policy.

Attendance at this event is currently by invitation only. If you would like to express your interest in attending, please email events@ilcuk.org.uk


ILC-UK Blogs

Since our last update, ILC-UK has published a number of blogs from various contributors covering subjects from high risk retirees to new ideas in health and social care.

Nick Saunderson, CEO at Audrey Group wrote that the perception that social care and health care are two separate entities has caused challenges and prevented any real resolution to the strain on the NHS.

Dean Hochlaf, our ILC-UK Assistant Economist explores recent trends in the demand for healthcare and the supply of the nurses, before reflecting on how government policy changes are impacting on the ability of the nursing sector to meet rising needs.

ILC-UK Director, David Sinclair covered the story on how the flu vaccination coverage is falling across Europe, and how the flu outbreak is is adding to pressures on the NHS this winter.

Nathan Long, Senior Pension Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, asks are we a nation of risk-taking retirees?

If you would like to contribute an article to our guest blog, please contact Dave Eaton at davideaton@ilcuk.org.uk


Partners Programme


Membership of our Partners Programme is open to companies and not for profit organisations. Benefits of membership include: a discount on research, guaranteed spaces at events, your logo on 3 events and 3 reports per year, and advanced copies of ILC-UK research. We also provide information and advice consultancy services to our Partners and organise exclusive events.

Partners are exposed to the latest available research and data in the UK, EU and the rest of the world. Partners are helped to understand and plan for changing societal trends and given opportunities to participate in cutting-edge debates to help them remain ahead of policy curves.

The current ILC-UK Partners are: Anchor, Audley, Aviva, Centre for Ageing Better, Edinburgh Napier University, EY, FirstPort, Housing&Care 21, Hymans Robertson LLP, Legal & General, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and Prudential.
For more information, see the Partners Programme brochure or contact David Sinclair, davidsinclair@ilcuk.org.uk


Working with ILC-UK


RESEARCH AND EVENTS


Research and events produced by ILC-UK are made possible by funding from various sources. If you are interested in commissioning ILC-UK research or supporting an ILC-UK event, please contact David Sinclair, davidsinclair@ilcuk.org.uk


PRESS


If you would like to receive ILC-UK press releases, please email events@ilcuk.org.uk and we will add you to our press release list.

A new report providing a robust and unique examination into the benefits of music-based interventions for people with dementia will be presented to an audience of MPs, celebrities, policy-makers, academics, clinicians, and charity leaders at the House of Lords on Thursday, 18th January.

The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), with support from The Utley Foundation, has created a Commission on Dementia and Music. The Commission explores the important role of music-based interventions in prevention, care & quality of life for people with dementia.

The power of music to improve the lives of people with dementia is known amongst experts and some caregivers. However up until now, only a few have been able to benefit, and the growing academic evidence and research base have largely been unknown. The Commission’s report pulls together evidence and highlights content to make a case for change, including recent research which suggests that regions of the brain associated with musical memory may overlap with regions relatively spared in Alzheimer’s disease.

As well as providing evidence for the benefits of music for people with dementia, the Utley Foundation is taking an important next step by funding and developing the role of an Ambassador to act as a figurehead for dementia and music. This Ambassador will lead a dedicated task force to deliver transformational change in music access for people with dementia and their carers. To date, the Utley Foundation has supported a number of initiatives and invested half a million pounds working towards an ambitious goal of giving every person living with dementia access to music.

Music-based interventions for people with dementia can range widely, including community based music groups, live music in care homes, listening to the radio or recorded music, playing an instrument, music therapy, or using personalised playlists. Evidence suggests that there is a ‘memory bump’ for music: people with dementia retain the clearest memories for the music they enjoyed and heard roughly between the ages of 10 and 30¹

“Music is not a ‘nice add-on’ it has tangible, evidence based benefits and reaches out beyond the home to the care sector, hospitals, hospices and across the wider community”, Neil Utley, The Utley Foundation

Through the Commission, ILC-UK has held events, undertaken a literature review, consulted with professionals and members of the public, conducted site visits, written a unique examination into the dementia and music ecosystem & defined a clear pathway for future action. Key findings include:

  • ILC-UK’s review of the evidence has shown that music is multi-dimensional and underpinned by widespread cortical plasticity, suggesting that even if certain areas of the brain are badly affected by dementia, a person may still be able to understand and enjoy music. Music may help in the recall of information for people with dementia, similar to mnemonics, and playing a musical instrument may be associated with a lowered likelihood of developing dementia.
  • Minimising the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD): Music-based interventions have the potential to help minimise BPSD, including symptoms such as agitation, abnormal vocalisation and aggression.
  • Tackling anxiety and depression: Music-based interventions can help to reduce anxiety and depression amongst people with dementia. Some research has suggested that the impact of music therapy on anxiety and depression could potentially be lasting, but more evidence is required.
  • Retaining speech and language: Some evidence suggests that music-based interventions may have the potential to improve the retention of speech and language for people with dementia.
  • Enhancing quality of life: Research suggests that music-based interventions can help to facilitate increased social interaction or ‘flow’, improve well-being, decrease stress hormones and enhance the quality of life of people with dementia.
  • Impact on caregivers: Early-stage research indicates that improvements in caregiving after music-related training are reported by caregivers, families, service providers and music therapists. Feedback suggests that engaging carers in music-based interventions can help them to better understand residents.
  • Palliative and end of life care: Qualitative evidence suggests that music therapy in end of life care may help to minimise anxiety and discomfort.
  • The proposed task force will create a roadmap that includes different strands and emphases such as type of dementia, age, ethnicity, comorbidities etc

Despite the potential value of music in delaying and reducing the symptoms of dementia, estimates suggest that high quality arts & music provision may only be available in 5% of care homes. Only a tiny minority of people with dementia have regular access to music therapy.

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive, ILC-UK said:

“Despite growing evidence of the value of music for people with dementia, we are not seeing enough being done to improve access to appropriate music-based activities. When talking about specialist music therapy, current availability only equates to roughly 30 seconds per week per person with dementia, meaning that very few individuals are benefitting from this valuable intervention”.

Sally Bowell, Research Fellow, ILC-UK said:

“Music should not just be considered a nice-to-have, or an ‘add-on’. Music has tangible, evidence-based benefits for people with dementia, such as helping to minimise the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, tackling depression and anxiety, and, importantly, helping to improve quality of life. We want to raise awareness of these important benefits and rally organisations and individuals alike to help champion access to music for people with dementia.”

Neil Utley, The Utley Foundation said:

“People with dementia often live in a silent world. Yet music can bring a person back to life. The ability to connect to music is an innate aspect of being human; having a diagnosis of dementia need not undermine this”.

From all of us at ILC-UK, thank you for all of your support over the past year.

Without the ongoing commitment of stakeholders from Government, business, academia and civil society we would be unable to conduct research, advise policy makers and inform the media about rapid population ageing and demographic change.

We are already planning a series of reports and events for 2018, and we look forward to contuining to work with you to ensure that the UK is ready for the future of ageing.

Thank you for attending the 2017 Future of Ageing Conference

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 Future of Ageing Conference.

Over 250 delegates joined more than 40 speakers and contributors for a day of debates in plenary sessions and discussions in break-out groups.

The #FutureofAgeing trended on Twitter twice throughout the course of the day, making it one of the top ten issues mentioned on Wednesday, 29th November. Presentation slides from those who delivered Powerpoint presentations on the day are now available on our website.

Recent ILC-UK Publication

Inequalities in later life

Commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better, this scoping review provides an overview of the current literature on inequalities in later life.

Exploring retirement transitions

This research report from ILC-UK and the Uncertain Futures research consortium examines extended working lives, the life course and retirement transitions.

Working for everyone

This report by ILC-UK and the renEWL research consortium features research on how working conditions, health and caring responsiblities affect workforce participation.

Public Health in Europe During the Austerity Years

This major report, supported by Pfizer, explores the relationship between austerity policies and public health across Europe.

When I'm 64 - The ILC-UK factpack on retirement transitions

ILC-UK's 2017 factpack, supported by FirstPort, explores retirement transitions and compares the experiences of today's 64 year olds with earlier generations.

ILC-UK Events

Time to Innovate for Ageing - Launch Reception

Tuesday, 16th January 2018; 17:00 - 19:00
Innovation Warehouse, 1st Floor, 1E Poultry Avenue,
Clerkenwell, London EC1A 9PT

This reception will celebrate the launch of a new, year-long programme (Innovating for Ageing) which seeks to identify and support the creation of new products and services to help improve the lives of vulnerable consumers. The best innovations will be recognised later in 2018 at an ILC-UK Awards ceremony.

This event is currently fully booked, but is operating a waiting list.

Click here to register for the waiting list.

Commission on Dementia and Music: Evening reception report launch

Thursday, 18th January 2018; 18:30 (for 19:00) - 20:30; House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0PW

In July 2017, ILC-UK launched the world's first high level Commission on Dementia and Music to investigate the current and potential role of music to help in the prevention, management, treatment and care of dementia.

This launch will see Parliamentarians, celebrities and people with dementia gather for the launch of the Commission's final report.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only.

Report launch, panel discussion and drinks reception on international perspectives for stimulating the UK Housing-with-Care sector

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, Central London

ILC-UK will be holding a report launch, panel discussion and drinks reception on international perspectives for simulating the UK Housing-with-Care sector, kindly supported by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), on Tuesday 30th January 2018 in London.

During the event, those in attendance will hear from report author and ILC-UK Senior Research Fellow Dr Brian Beach, who will highlight a number of recommendations that could help development of this sector.

This event is currently an invitation only event. If you are interested in attending, please contact ILC-UK at events@ilcuk.org.uk.

ILC-UK Blogs

Since our last update, ILC-UK has published a number of blogs from international contributors as part of our Future of Ageing series, as well as ILC-UK blogs on retirement housing and addressing language barriers in healthcare.

Liad Ortar, Head of the CSR wrote on 'CSR towards the elders: stop talking, start doing!' which examined the potential for corporate social responsibility initiatives to help better cater for older consumers. The Extend research consortium (University of Sheffield; Institute for Work and Technology; TU Dortmund University;University of Cologne) wrote on 'Social inequalities in extending working lives - The case of the health and care sector', which introduced their work in this area.

Astrid Davies, Director of Astrid Davies Consulting wrote about the need to up-skill and retain older workers to ensure sustainable workforces, and implicit ageism in her blog 'Teaching old dogs new tricks?'.

Lieutenant Mark Scoulding wrote about the Salvation Army's views, and their work on adult social care in 'Equal dignity for all? The future of adult social care'. Finally, Rochelle Amour, a consultant at Age Caribbean wrote on 'Can we automate care? Developing countries may not have a choice' featuring case studies from Trinidad and Tobago.

Beyond the Future of Ageing series, ILC-UK Director David Sinclair wrote about what older people actually want from retirement housing, and what needs to be done to make the sector more attractive, and Research and Policy Assistant Amna Riaz wrote on addressing language barriers in healthcare in the UK.

If you would like to contribute an article to our guest blog, please contact Dave Eaton at davideaton@ilcuk.org.uk.

Partners Programme

Membership of our Partners Programme is open to companies and not for profit organisations. Benefits of membership include: a discount on research, guaranteed spaces at events, your logo on 3 events and 3 reports per year, and advanced copies of ILC-UK research. We also provide information and advice consultancy services to our Partners and organise exclusive events.

Partners are exposed to the latest available research and data in the UK, EU and the rest of the world. Partners are helped to understand and plan for changing societal trends and given opportunities to participate in cutting-edge debates to help them remain ahead of policy curves.

The current ILC-UK Partners are: Anchor, Audley, Aviva, Centre for Ageing Better, Edinburgh Napier University, EY, FirstPort, Housing&Care 21, Hymans Robertson LLP, Legal & General, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and Prudential.

For more information, see the Partners Programme brochure or contact David Sinclair, davidsinclair@ilcuk.org.uk.

Working with ILC-UK

RESEARCH AND EVENTS

Research and events produced by ILC-UK are made possible by funding from various sources. If you are interested in commissioning ILC-UK research or supporting an ILC-UK event, please contact David Sinclair, davidsinclair@ilcuk.org.uk.

PRESS
If you would like to receive ILC-UK press releases, please email events@ilcuk.org.uk and we will add you to our press release list.

This year's Future of Ageing Conference will play host to 10 different panel debates covering everything from automating care, ageism, innovation in housing and the end of life.

Eventbrite - The Future of Ageing Conference 2017:  Transforming Tomorrow Today

Confirmed workshops and confirmed speakers include:

Opening Keynote: Dr Pol Vandenbroucke, Vice President Medical Strategy, Pfizer

How can we maximise the economic contribution of older people?

  • Diane Kenwood, Editor, Woman's Weekly and ILC-UK Trustee
  • John McTernan, Senior Vice President, PSB and Former Political Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair
  • Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive, Anchor
  • Professor Debora Price, President, British Society of Gerontology and Director, MICRA
  • Professor Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School

Is the Future less or more ageist?

  • Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, Fawcett Society
  • Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Member of Parliament for Barking, discussing 'How to stop wasting women's talents: overcoming our fixation with youth'
  • Yasmin Boudiaf, Virtual Reality Expert, discussing 'Can we use Virtual Reality to tackle ageism?'
  • Tessa Harding, Ex-NCVO and Help the Aged

Can technology drive innovation in pensions, health and care?

  • Alison Martin, Global Head of Life and Health, Swiss Re
  • Other speakers to be confirmed

Is antimicrobial resistance a threat to longevity - and what can we do about it? 

  • Mark Chataway, Managing Director, Hyderus
  • Professor Anthony Scott, Director, The Vaccine Centre, LSHTM
  • Professor Alan Johnson, Head of AMR, Public Health England's Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control

How can we save the NHS?

  • Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Chair, NHS Confederation and former Health Secretary
  • Dr David Oliver, Clinical Vice President, Royal College of Physicians
  • Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Chief Executive, International Longevity Centre - UK
  • Pamela Spence, Partner, Global Life Sciences Industry Leader, EY

More inequalities in a world of austerity? 

  • Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better
  • Inequalities in Life Expectancy: Andrew Gaches, Head of Longevity, Life and Financial Services, Hymans Robertson
  • Inequalities in Old Age: Professor Thomas Scharf, Professor of Social Gerontology, Newcastle University
  • Austerity and Health Across Europe: Ben Franklin, Head of Economics of Ageing, International Longevity Centre - UK

Filling the skills gap: Migration, more older workers, or both?

  • Yvonne Sonsino, Partner and Innovation Leader, Mercer and Co-Chair DWP Fuller Working Lives Business Strategy Group
  • Professor Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King's College London
  • Dean Hochlaf, Assistant Economist, International Longevity Centre - UK

Can we automate care?

  • George Holley-Moore, Research and Policy Manager, International Longevity Centre - UK
  • Eric Kihlstrom, Co-Founder, KareInn
  • Pamela Spence, Partner, Global Life Sciences Industry Leader, EY

How can the housing industry innovate for tomorrow's older consumers?

  • Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Chief Executive, International Longevity Centre - UK
  • Nigel Howell, Chief Executive, FirstPort
  • Gary Day, Land and Planning Director, McCarthy and Stone
  • Lord Best, Co-Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People

The future of the end: Living forever or dying in style?

  • Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Chief Executive, International Longevity Centre - UK
  • Professor Douglas Davies FBA, Professor of the Study of Religion, Durham University, and Director of the Centre for Death and Life Studies
  • Louise Winter, Founder, Poetic Endings
  • Dave Eaton, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, International Longevity Centre - UK

Closing Keynote: Professor Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School and author of 'The 100 year life'.

Eventbrite - The Future of Ageing Conference 2017:  Transforming Tomorrow Today

There will also be a number of keynote presentations, and an open slot to allow one delegate to present their idea to help society prepare for the future of ageing.

Join us at #FutureofAgeing
For more information click here: http://www.futureofageing.org.uk/

Future of Ageing 2017: Sponsored by:

Supported by:


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.

 

  • 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."

Researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Southampton University, Newcastle University, Sussex University and the ILC-UK are carrying out a 4-year study that will project needs, supports and costs to help plan good, affordable dementia care up to 2040.

The MODEM project (Modelling outcome and cost impacts of interventions for dementia), funded by the NIHR and ESRC under their “Improving Dementia Care” funding initiative, aims to generate new evidence to inform policy and practice to better meet needs, promote health and wellbeing of people with affected by dementia and their carers, and achieve efficiency in the use of society’s resources.

Electrical Safety First is urging the Government to put an end to poor quality housing after its report, released today, concludes that one million people aged over 75 currently live in non-decent homes.

The report, A Shock to the System: Electrical Safety in an Ageing Society, reveals that the current housing stock is putting vulnerable people at risk, and is not fit to allow people to age safely in their own homes, with those living in low-income households or in rural areas most affected. A lack of new builds combined with an ageing population means this situation will worsen unless urgent action is taken.

Housing is classed as non-decent if it fails to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard, and means they are not warm enough, are in a state of disrepair or do not have modern facilities. Poor electrical safety is a particular concern - nearly two thirds of households with a couple over 60 do not meet basic electrical safety standards , which include having such life-saving devices such as a modern fusebox, residual current device, circuit breakers and PVC wiring.

The report reveals serious concerns about the electrical safety of older people. More than 350,000 people are seriously injured by electricity every year and older adults are more likely to be affected - a person over 60 is ten times more likely to die in a fire than someone one aged 17 to 24.

The Charity explains how older people are disproportionately at risk because they are living in their properties for longer, meaning there is a longer time between comprehensive checks and the electrical installations and appliances also tend to be older; 42% of householders who have lived in their property for 30 or more years live in non-decent accommodation .

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First, said: “The Government has a duty to ensure that no-one is living in unsafe housing, and yet a million over 75s live in housing deemed non-decent by their own standards. A shortage of new builds means that housing stock will continue to age, electrics will continue to deteriorate and vulnerable people will continue to be put at risk. Most people want to stay in their home as long as possible, but for this to happen we need central and local governments to act and ensure elderly people can maintain their independence by living in safe and decent houses.”

Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre, who authored the report on behalf of Electrical Safety First, said: “As our population ages we are witnessing more older people living independently at home. It is therefore vital that every effort should be made to make the home environment as safe as possible.  Our Inquiry found however, that too many older people live in poor housing conditions potentially putting them at risk of electrical harm. At the same time, growing numbers of people with dementia need to be confident that their homes, which should be as hazard-free as possible. We know there are 1 million older people living in non-decent homes; there now needs to be a concerted effort from central government and local authorities to rectify this”.

The report also notes that there are other barriers to older people being electrically safe, which include a fear of letting strangers into their homes to carry out essential maintenance work, the costs of hiring  tradespeople and social isolation – all of which mean hazards may go unnoticed. Dementia can also increase safety risks as memory problems and confusion can mean electrical appliances are used unsafely.

To address these issues, Electrical Safety First has produced a free leaflet which includes tips and advice for anyone concerned about safety in their own home or that of a relative/friend. The Charity also says that a number of safety issues can be identified and addressed through a simple visual check of a home and has produced a free smartphone app to carry out these checks. For more information, to download the booklet or access the app, visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/agesafe.

Ends

The social stigma which surrounds dementia is impeding early diagnosis, care and research into the disease, according to a new report by thr ILC-UK

The report, New perspectives and approaches to understanding dementia and stigma, published by the think tank International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) in collaboration with the MRC, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and supported by the drug company Pfizer, shines a light on the impact the fear around dementia has on those living with the condition, their families and carers, which prevents the research community capturing a full picture of the disease.

According to data in the report, people over the age of 55 fear being diagnosed with dementia more than any other condition and at least 1 in 4 people hide their diagnosis, citing stigma as the reason.

Professor Hugh Perry, Chair of the MRC’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Board, said:

“This report provided a unique opportunity to focus on a little-researched area that has a major impact within society. We wanted to highlight what may not be widely realised - that stigma exists and that the evidence shows it is likely to worsen a person’s symptoms and quality of life through loneliness and rejection. If people are too frightened to address early signs of dementia, we can’t possibly get a full picture of the disease from a research perspective, to understand how the disease first develops and how it varies from person to person. It’s clear that more needs to be done to understand the roots and causes of dementia and stamp out social stigma– the same way that stigma surrounding Cancer and HIV has been all but eradicated.”

Sally-Marie Bamford, Director of Research and Strategy International Centre for Longevity UK (ILC-UK) said:

"The ILC-UK are delighted to be launching this Compendium with the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research, supported by Pfizer. This piece of work sheds a valuable light on the causes and origins of stigma and dementia and we hope by working together we can start to move forward and help reduce the everyday discrimination and inequalities so many people with dementia and their carers face."

Dr Matthew Norton, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are pleased to have contributed to this report, which sheds light on the stigma that still surrounds dementia and the impact this can have on those affected. Despite the far-reaching effects of dementia on individuals and society as a whole, there is still a lack of public awareness and understanding of the condition. Greater awareness could help lift the stigma that is too often still attached to dementia, and research has a role to play in helping people understand the condition. Dementia is not inevitable, but is caused by diseases, and continued investment in research, such as that from the MRC’s Dementias Platform and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s defeat dementia campaign, is vital if we are to beat those diseases.”

George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said:

”Too often people with dementia tell us that since their diagnosis they’ve faced an unacceptable level of stigma and in some cases lost friends and social networks. This wouldn’t happen if you had a disease like cancer and is a totally unacceptable, yet avoidable situation that people with dementia have to face.

“We’ve come a long way in terms of raising awareness but we still need to do more as a society to banish the stigma surrounding dementia once and for all. Beating dementia won’t just happen in a lab. By next year 850,000 people in the UK will have dementia. If we’re going to tackle the condition we also need to make the society we live in more dementia friendly. We’re doing this by creating dementia friendly communities that have the know-how to help and recruiting a million Dementia Friends. Work such as this is a key part of the fight against dementia.”

A Provocation launched today explores potential savings to the state if we were able to intervene successfully on the risk factors that cause dementia- these include physical activity, smoking, obesity and depression.

The International Longevity Centre–UK – the leading think tank on ageing and longevity – with Improving Care have modelled the impact of matching best practice interventions from global case studies on reducing six risk factors for dementia.

We estimate that over a 27 year period (2013-2040) this could prevent nearly 3 million people developing dementia in the UK – and would reduce the costs to the state in the UK by £42.9 billion between now and 2040 (minus any associated costs of intervention).

For example, if we managed to successfully reduce depression by 22.5% by 2040 (best practice intervention) this could prevent 22,000 people developing dementia and save the state £308million. Similarly if we managed to reduce type 2 diabetes by 58% through intensive lifestyle interventions, through weight reduction and exercise, we could potentially prevent 40,000 people developing dementia by 2040 and save the state £560million.

This Provocation links to the key messages of a study published in the Lancet Neurology today that argues one in three cases of dementia could be avoided by changes in lifestyle.

Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK and Chair of the Commission, said

“As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, and Chief Executive of ILC-UK, I am pleased that we are finally developing a credible evidence base to make the case for prevention and risk reduction for dementia. So few people are aware that there are actually lifestyle decisions you can make which could reduce your risk of dementia, such as stopping smoking, physical activity and a healthy diet.

With no cure for dementia, we need to do everything we can to reduce our lifetime risk of dementia and we need to make sure that people understand that dementia need not be an inevitable part of ageing, we can all help ourselves by looking after our heart health and in turn this should improve our brain health.”

This provocation aims to demonstrate what could be possible if we do try to tackle our lifestyle factors and when it comes to dementia arguably every number of cases which can be prevented must count.

Kieran Brett, one of the authors of the report, said:

“The priority that the Government has given to finding a cure for dementia is to be welcomed. This report today shows that alongside finding a cure, we can also develop a strong, evidence-based prevention strategy which will alleviate suffering and save £42.9 billion pounds by 2040.”

Dr Matt Norton, Head of Policy for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

“The research evidence on reducing the risk of developing some forms of dementia is growing. The recent Blackfriars Consensus Statement, signed by experts in the field including Alzheimer’s Research UK, has paved the way for dementia risk reduction to form part of our approach to public health. Now is the time to start championing the message that ‘what is good for the heart is good for the brain’ and this analysis from Improving Care and the ILC hints at what could be achieved. The potential impact is great, but we need further research to understand just how far we can go in preventing dementia and to help people take control of their own risk.”

ILC Global Alliance calls for a global response to dementia

The projected global increase in the incidence of dementia, from 35.6 million cases in 2010 to 115.4 million by 2050[1], requires an urgent and comprehensive global response, according to a consortium of international organisations.

The International Longevity Centre Global Alliance, [an international consortium of 12 organisations] made up of 12 centres, has today published the “Cape Town Declaration on Dementia”.

The Declaration, which takes a human rights based approach to dementia, proposes a broad range of strategies in the form of 12 recommendations. The underlying message of the declaration is that all levels of governments should unite, alongside civil society, academia, communities and individuals, to enhance and expand care responses to dementia, and promote and protect the rights of persons with dementia and their carers by:

  1. Engaging in a multidisciplinary dialogue to establish a common framework of standards for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dementia;
  2. Developing and implementing intergovernmental and national integrated policies and plans of action dedicated to dementia, as well as comprehensive policies and plans of action on ageing which incorporate dementia;
  3. Supporting increased funding by governmental and non-governmental sources of research on all aspects of dementia and associated caregiving;
  4. Urging pharmaceutical companies to develop and supply affordable dementia medications to less developed regions;
  5. Increasing the number of health care professionals trained in geriatrics, and in dementia in particular, in order to enhance dementia screening and diagnostic skills, and the provision of ongoing care;
  6. Developing awareness of and education on dementia, including measures to prevent or delay the onset of dementia and to reduce the discrimination and isolation often experienced by persons with dementia and their family members;
  7. Establishing models of care for persons with dementia which partner health care services with housing services, community based care and legal protection;
  8. Instituting measures to ensure the safety of older persons with dementia and protect them from abuse, in both domestic settings and institutional settings such as hospitals and long-term care facilities;
  9. Encouraging civil society organisations to advocate for improved dementia care and to expand care services to older persons with dementia and their caregivers;
  10. Providing support, including training and respite care services, to informal caregivers of older persons with dementia;
  11. Supporting the drafting and adoption of a United Nations convention on the human rights of older persons which would clarify those rights, create binding obligations on states, enhance accountability, and raise awareness of the issues which impact the lives of older persons including those with dementia;
  12. Ensuring that all plans, strategies and programmes are developed in consultation with persons with dementia and their families and caregivers.

Monica Ferreira, co-president of the ILC Global Alliance, said “We are witnessing enormous growth in the number of older people globally. The more than 700 million older people in 2009 are expected to increase in number to reach 2 billion by 2050, with the most rapid increases occurring in developing countries. By 2050 nearly 80 per cent of the world’s older population is projected to live in less developed regions.[2] Increasing longevity means that not only will more people live longer, but more will be at risk of contracting diseases common in advanced age, such as dementia. Developing countries have other priorities and competing demands for limited healthcare resources, and will be particularly challenged in providing care and support for older citizens with dementia.

Baroness Sally Greengross, co-president of the ILC Global Alliance added: “Dementia has a devastating impact on society, families and individuals. It not only exacts a heavy cost on the individual and his/her family, but represents a significant challenge to the sustainability of economies. Global problems call for global solutions. We have a responsibility not only as citizens of our own country, but as global citizens to work together to address the challenge of dementia.

The declaration we are launching today is a starting point – a work in progress. We want to hear from our global partners across civil society and government and look forward to a dialogue about how to achieve our common goals.”

About the ILC Global Alliance

International Longevity Centre (ILC) Global Alliance is an international consortium whose members seek to understand and address the profound consequences of population ageing and increasing longevity on society and individuals.

More information about the ILC Global Alliance is available at http://www.ilc-alliance.org

Notes to Editor

  • A full copy of the declaration is available on the ILC Global Alliance website at: http://www.ilc-alliance.org/story/lc-cape-town-declaration-global-response-dementia-call-action.html
  • The ILC Cape Town Declaration on a Global Response to Dementia – A Call to Action (Cape Town Declaration on Dementia – short title) is a consensus outcome document of the symposium on “The Globalisation of Dementia: Issues and Responses” held in Cape Town, South Africa on October 26, 2010.
  • The Cape Town Declaration on Dementia is being published in a special issue on dementia of the International Federation on Ageing’s journal, Global Ageing: Issues & Action (available July 2011).

Follow our event in London live online today

Go to http://ilc-uk.coverpage.coveritlive.com for live text and audio updates from the ILC-UK and Actuarial Profession Joint Debate: 'Future Economic, Health & Social Care Costs of Dementia' at the The Actuarial Profession as it unfolds.

Follow the debate in real time, hear key information and insights from the speakers, and add your thoughts and comments to the event through the comment box or using twitter and the hashtag #DementiaCosts.

This page will be covering live from 4pm on Tuesday 1 March, and will be available both during and after the event to read and engage with.

A report launched today by the leading Think Tank, International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) reveals that the dementia research agenda in most EU countries remains critically under-funded and under-valued.

The report, ‘The European Dementia Research Agenda’ finds there is widespread disparity in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementia across Europe.
It 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.

With over seven million people in the EU living with dementia and with the numbers forecast to double in the next twenty years, the escalating economic, health, and social care costs necessitate fundamental changes to policy interventions for Member States and EU Institutions.

Baroness Sally Greengross, the Chief Executive of the ILC-UK said:

“The evidence shows health and social care systems across Europe will face collapse if we do not prioritise public spending on dementia now. Research needs to be at the heart of any future government initiatives.
We know the prejudice and stigma attached to dementia has not served it well in terms of the ‘public sell’. This has to change and all governments have to lead by example. In particular we need more investment in research to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

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:

  • Organise an annual conference on dementia research
  • 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.
  • Increase the number of health care professionals trained in 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.

The author of the report Sally-Marie Bamford, ILC-UK Senior Researcher added:

“It is clear from listening to the delegates at the meeting that we have more in common with our European neighbours than we may think. Across the shores, politicians and policy-makers are all grappling with the thorny of problem of dementia.

While there are certainly some frontrunners in the dementia policy race, all countries need to recognise that investing in dementia research is essential. Officials in charge of the public purse need to stop thinking ‘Can we afford to do this?’, but rather ‘Can we afford not to!’.”

 

With 700,000 people in the UK living with dementia and with the numbers forecast to double within a generation, the report argues all European governments including the UK need to invest now for tomorrow [1].

In these tough economic times, Governments across the EU are looking at ways to slash public budgets and curtail spending. The report launched today 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.

The report, made possible by a grant from Pfizer Inc, has been published as a literature review and policy brief, entitled ‘A problem shared is a problem halved? Dementia: Learning opportunities from Europe’. The report comes at a time of growing awareness of dementia at the UK and EU level [2].

The report argues that:

  • There is still widespread disparity in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementia across Europe.
  • Discrimination, ignorance and prejudice of dementia is rife.
  • All EU countries will need to prioritise spending on dementia and reconcile need, want and value for the public purse in the coming years.
  • 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.
  • The identification of modifiable risk factors that prevent dementia or slow its progression must be a priority, this includes preventative factors such as a healthy diet, promoting physical and cognitive activity and controlling cardiovascular risk factors. Such investments in preventative measures would also improve general public health.
  • National Action Plans like the National Dementia Strategy launched in England in 2009 are increasingly considered to be the ‘gold standard’ of policy interventions across Europe. However dementia specific actions and programmes are not in themselves a panacea, if problems in the wider health and social care arena are not addressed.
  • There is an increasingly important role for the European Union Institutions to foster, promote and stimulate collaboration between EU Member States.


Baroness Greengross, the Chief Executive of the ILC-UK said:

Dementia is a ticking time bomb and with the number of people with dementia expected to rise significantly in the coming years, our health and social care systems will face collapse if we do not prioritise public spending on dementia now.

The prejudice and stigma attached to dementia has not served it well in terms of the ‘public sell’. This has to change and the Government has to lead by example. In particular we need more investment in research to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment. [3]”

The author of the report Sally-Marie Bamford, ILC-UK Senior Researcher added:

“There is no longer just a moral and social argument for prioritising dementia, but the economic imperative is now overwhelming - the implications for our health and social care system will be profound, if we do not address the key issues of ageing and dementia now.

Officials in charge of the public purse need to stop thinking ‘Can we afford to do this?’, but rather ‘Can we afford not to’.”


ENDS

[1] In the UK, according to the Dementia UK report from King's College London and the London School of Economics (commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society) dementia currently costs the UK over £17billion per year.
Dementia costs in the UK will reach almost £35 billion within 20 years according to the King's Fund's 2008 report 'Paying the Price'.

[2] In the UK, The Government launched the National Dementia Strategy for England in February 2009 and held a Ministerial Dementia Research Summit in July 2009.

[3] The spend on dementia research is £32 million a year in the UK, which is only one eight of what the Government spends on cancer.If scientists could develop a treatment that would reduce severe cognitive impairment in older people by just 1% per year, this would cancel out all estimated increases in the long-term care costs due to our ageing population.
Source: Cognitive impairment in older people: its implications for future demand for services and costs. Adelina Comas-Herrera, Raphael Wittenberg, Linda Pickard, Martin Knapp and MRC-CFAS. PSSRU Discussion Paper
Cognitive Impairment in Older People: future demand for long-term care services and the associated costs (2007) by Adelina Comas-Herrera, Raphael Wittenberg, Linda Pickard and Martin Knapp 1728.

 

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.

Download a copy of the report here.

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