UK 'woefully under-prepared' for Ageing Society

The Government is 'woefully under-prepared' for the impact a rapidly ageing population will have on society and public services, a Lords Committee has warned.

The committee said the 'gift of longer life' could lead to a series of crises unless all political parties addressed the issue. England will see a 50% rise in the number of over 65s and a 100% increase in over 85s between 2010 and 2030, the report said.

Peers found the current model of health and social care provision is failing older people now and is inappropriate to care well for the many more older people there will be with chronic health conditions.

They warned the National Health Service will have to transform to deal with the very large increases in demand for and costs of health and social care.

Lord Filkin, Chairman of the Committee, said: "We need Government to support the choices each of us makes for our longer lives: people must be better informed and enabled to get a better idea of the income they may get in retirement from their pension savings; they should be able to work later if they wish to do so."

Peers are calling for the Government to set out in a White Paper how health and social care services and pension arrangements must change to cope with an ageing population.

They recommend all political parties consider the wider implications of the ageing society in their manifestos for the 2015 election.