By 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) predicts that people over 50 will make up almost one-third (32%) of the workforce and almost half (47%) the adult population.
This requires us to think differently about ageing. The implications of an ageing society affect all of us, across generations and will touch every part of our lives. Our ageing society provides opportunities as well as challenges for individuals, families, communities, employers and government.
We’re working to understand how these demographic changes will affect the way we live together, work together and support each other, whatever our age. We use evidence from research, practice and lived experience to share practical solutions and inspiring ideas that show how people and communities – now – are preparing and responding to ageing and old age. Much of our current work focuses on the local, practical, neighbourhood-based and the everyday.
We’re focusing on four themes:
- Quality of life – later this year we’ll be presenting key findings about what’s important for a good quality of life in older age, especially if you need a high level of care or support. We’re also looking at progressive housing models for older people.
- Risk and relationships – we’re exploring how risks and relationships are best managed in care homes and investigating risk and trust in everyday relationships where families, friends and neighbours might be part of an informal network of care and support.
- Dementia - through our Dementia Without Walls work we will work in partnership to develop dementia-friendly communities in both York and Bradford. We will also be looking at how to ensure we become a dementia-friendly employer. People with dementia are central to this work, through local initiatives and the DEEP project.
- Loneliness – affects anyone of any age. We’ve trained and supported local people in four neighbourhoods across Bradford and York to find out what causes loneliness where they live and how they, as individuals and communities, can contribute to the wellbeing of people who are at risk of, or are experiencing, loneliness.