The Guardian reports on increasing portions of retirement spent in poor health

29 November 2017

MICRA Director Debbie Price comments.

The Guardian reports on a thinktank on ageing and population, focusing on the situations of those facing retirement. The report, released by the International Longevity Centre and funded by property management group First Port highlights the fact that although life expectancy is increasing in both men and women, the rise in the number of expected years of a healthy life isn’t keeping up.

The report identifies that older people are proportionally more likely to be self-employed with more than a quarter of zero-hours work is undertaken by the over-50s. In addition, the report shows an increasing trend of the older generation renting a home rather than owning their own homes; almost 12% of the age group 55-64 were renting their home in 2015/16 which up from 4.1% in 2003/04. Debbie Price comments: “The ILC report adds to a growing body of research that shows that ageing is just not the same for everyone.  We see greater diversity in all sorts of spheres of life, with more older people working, going on holiday, using the internet and of course, living longer, but at the same time we can see inequalities increasing, and that for many people this is a very tough period of life.  We know that many older people live with very low incomes, poor housing, long-standing disabilities, high risks of social isolation and loneliness, and little power to change things.”

Debbie is concerned that increasing amounts of research point to inequalities span across all age ranges: “these inequalities go across the life-course and are reflecting a really unequal society, at all ages.  These are issues that concern us greatly as gerontologists, and reducing inequalities in education, income, work and health at all ages should be a policy imperative.”

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