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Coffee Table

Ageing society – more centenarians expected

11 June 2020 | 2 minute read - one hour to view

Our ageing society is thoroughly explored in this fascinating video lecture. Professor Sarah Harper CBE explains how patterns of ageing differ across the globe and how they have changed over the last two centuries. She predicts that, in coming decades, we will see rising numbers of centenarians but highlights the importance of healthy ageing rather than simply growing old.

Healthy ageing is vital

The lecture explains how obesity is emerging as a major factor which determines whether we are likely to suffer in old age. It also includes promising evidence indicating that levels of dementia appear to be declining in the UK and that this may be due to levels of education in earlier life.

Ageing society affects all generations

Towards the end of the lecture, Professor Harper touches on some of the challenges familiar to Carents. How does our society accommodate all the changes and demands generated by an ageing population, especially issues like the economic impact on younger generations? It seems, as yet, we have few answers, but at least the academics are beginning to consider these questions.

If you can spare the time - it lasts around one hour - then we can highly recommend this video. We used this content to inform our work with schools to promote innovation in ageing and emphasise that innovation and academia go hand in hand.

The issues raised are also fundamental to government policy and planning and the need to create a society which celebrates and support older people. We have explored the societal implications of ageing elsewhere on the coffee table.

Professor Harper is the Founding Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. The Institute majors on investigating patterns of ageing and the economics of ageing to understand the implications of ageing. Researchers there, work with colleagues globally to generate evidence which shapes our national policy on ageing.