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Agenda for Later Life 2015: A great place to grow older

Welcome to Agenda for Later Life 2015, Age UK’s annual overview of how public policy is meeting the needs of people in later life.

Dignity, independence, security: these things are tremendously important to us as we age and in their absence later life is bound to be tougher and less pleasant, and it also means people are less able to be self-reliant. This is why we have decided that over the next five years our overarching goal as a charity should be to help make the UK ‘a great place to grow older.’

Against a backdrop of continued deficit reduction, and with the number of people over 60 expected to increase from 14.9 million in 2014 to 18.5 million in 2025, this
might seem like a tough ask. But contrary to the views of the ‘doom-mongers,’ an ageing population is a great boon both to our economy and our society, if the right policies are put in place.

So this report sets our policy priorities for the year ahead, which cover all aspects of ageing: money matters; health and care; housing; and creating communities where older people have the opportunity to stay active and be recognised as valued members of society. There is also an important global context, as Age UK is working with its partner, Age International, to press for a UN convention on the human rights of older people.

In creating ‘a great place to grow older,’ our resilient and resourceful older population is our greatest asset. However, growing older is a universal human condition, and I hope that everyone will find something of interest or value within this report.