Is society ready for its growing ageing population?

Guardian research aims to assess how well the UK is responding to demographic change

The Guardian is launching a new survey, which aims to assess how well the UK is responding to demographic change – and whether older citizens’ skills and knowledge are being harnessed.

The proportion of people aged 60 or over in the UK population is projected to grow steadily in the years ahead, while some experts have suggested that one in two of today’s toddlers is likely to live beyond 100. Yet a powerful report last year warned that the UK was “woefully underprepared” for the consequences of its ageing population.  And there are few signs that the policymakers have grasped the scale and urgency of the challenge presented by this demographic change.

SocietyGuardian has launched a major project looking at how the UK is responding to the challenges and opportunities of the growing number of older people. The Big Ageing Population Debate – supported by British Red Cross, Hanover, Independent Age and PA Consulting – has been exploring how public services adapt to meet increasing demand from older people, and how to recognise and celebrate older people’s contribution to their communities.  They would like to hear from older people and their families and carers, from professionals working with older people and from interested members of the public.  In particular, they would like views on society’s perceptions of older people, the political response to changing demographics, and how people would like their own older age to be. The survey will take no more than 5 -10 minutes to complete. The findings will be published on the SocietyGuardian website in early 2015.