‘Big implications for care’ over next 30 years as disabled population set to soar

New statistics show that one in four women and one in six men over 65 in Europe will be disabled by 2047 and a leading charity has warned that this will mean “big implications” for certain sectors.

Caroline Abrahams from Age Concern said that the population was ageing and infrastructure needed to adapt. “There are big implications for contemporary life, including town planning, transport and housing, as well as health and care.”

The comments come after figures published in BMJ Open claim that there will be around 1.5m men and 2.1m women over 65 who will be physically disabled in three decades.

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According to the study disabilities will be severe enough to affect every day life and researchers said that there may need to be measures to accommodate for the rise such as expanding infrastructure in public and private sectors as well as training more health professionals.

The increase in numbers is thought to be down to higher life expectancies throughout Europe, particularly among women.

In May this year, another report estimated that by 2025 around 2.8m over-65s will need care provision and there will be a near 50% increase in dementia cases within a decade in England and Wales.

The report from The Lancet Public Health Journal estimated that by 2025, for people aged 65, a quarter of later life is likely to be spent with some kind of disability.

It said that there will be a 25% increase on current demand for care within the age range and that more investment is needed in health and social care to cope with the demand.

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Joe Peskett

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