Sunday, April 10, 2016

I do hope all this 'fresh thinking' about ageing is worthwhile - I fear it is not

Over the years I have worked for a lot of large corporate clients and one thing they have in common is they all have invested in a mega research project about the ageing market that has cost a fortune and is beautifully presented. The other thing they have in common is that they then either do nothing or ignore the results.

I fear that two projects that are underway in the UK will go the same way.

The future of ageing project (see above) says that it is : a project is providing state of the art scientific evidence to government. This evidence is intended to form the basis for a range of policies and actions to:

  • maintain wellbeing throughout life, for all individuals regardless of their generation
  • improve quality of life for older people and enable them to participate more fully in society
  • ensure everyone can access the tools and facilities to help them live a long and healthy life

Wow it has a long list of Professors from various universities. 

The other project is Lottery funded and involves The Centre for ageing better

This organisation is: an independent charitable foundation working to help everybody enjoy a good later life. Our approach is based on evidence – we develop, share and apply evidence to help people age better. We bring fresh thinking to the challenges and opportunities that everyone faces as more people live longer. We are focused on change and support projects that can make a difference to later lives. Working in partnership with people and collaborating with a diverse range of organisations, we create measurable change for the long-term.

Don't get me wrong - bringing attention to the subject of population of ageing has to be a good thing. But why start from scratch? We are knee deep in research about the issues.

Let me tell you how both projects will end. There will be a conference (s). Terrific presentations and videos. Probably a couple of ministers will come along and say lots of warm words about how they have 'moved the debate forward'. The press will pick it up for a few days and then ziltch.

We have the evidence - we pretty much know what needs to be done. What we don't have is political or corporate capital to make it happen. 90% of the funding for these projects should be focused on how to 'make it happen'. My guess the figure, if indeed it has been quantified, is less than 5%.

Sorry to be so pessimistic Dick Stroud

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