The number of people over 65 is predicted to rise from 9.6m today to 15m by 2040. Quality of life in later life is a big issue for an ageing society, and there is much debate as to the best way to provide for this demographic change.
The current ageing debate focuses on finding affordable ways to deliver ineffective services to an increasing number of older people. Within existing institutions the emphasis is on provision of physical care over emotional and social support. And the arguments reinforce an out-of-date paradigm that treats older people as an unproductive burden rather than a productive asset.
RED has a distinctive design-led contribution to make to the ageing debate that is focused on older people not institutions. In the last 3 months RED has been spending time with, and talking to older people in their own homes, day centres, residential and nursing homes. We have come up with 10 starting points for new services that might better meet peoples’ needs and aspirations for later life.
We want to work with older people and frontline professionals in local communities to refine and prototype these services, and with government agencies, national charities and business to create future services that are both more effective and more affordable.