Community research has identified challenges of ageing. Now social entrepreneurs are being invited to develop solutions.
By the time the NHS celebrates its 100th birthday in 2048, there will be more than 100,000 centenarians in the UK. This age shift is both global and personal. We are living longer and many of us are living better too. But too often, ageing seems to be more a source of consternation than celebration.
“For more than half a century now, we have treated the trials of sickness, ageing and mortality as medical concerns. It’s been an experiment in social engineering, putting our fates in the hands of people more valued for their technical prowess than for their understanding of human needs. The experiment has failed,” says surgeon Atul Gawande in his book Being Mortal.
The way we respond to the human needs of an ageing society needs a new approach. We need to look beyond the medical to understand the ecology of ageing, of the psychosocial, economic and environmental.
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