The ageing population: challenges for policy and practice

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The concept of the ageing population is one that has generated much debate and discussion at global, national and local levels. While on the one hand an ageing population is viewed in a positive light as an indicator of the improving availability of effective healthcare, on the other hand it is viewed as problematic in relation to both health and welfare policy and the provision of services. The demography of ageing provides the context for national and international comparisons. This paper examines the global and national perspectives on ageing and explores the assumptions that underpin the different views on population ageing. The policy and practice challenges that are presented to the UK by an ageing population are explored. The impact on health and major differentials in ageing – sex and ethnicity – are outlined and considered in relation to health and welfare policy and practice. The ways in which these challenges can be addressed are discussed, and recommendations for practice are outlined.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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