The State of Ageing 2020 report has been published
Poor health, unsafe housing, financial inequalities and a lack of social connections have exacerbated the impact of coronavirus across the country, according to the Centre for Ageing Better report.
The impact of the pandemic will also widen regional inequalities and coronavirus risks setting people in mid-life on a path to poverty and ill-health in old age, according to our new report, which warns that the virus will exacerbate existing inequalities.
The report, ‘The State of Ageing in 2020’ warns that poor health, unsafe and low-quality housing, and a lack of social connections have exacerbated the impact of the pandemic particularly among the less well-off.
It also highlights a stark North-South divide in how people experience later life. It shows that people in the South of England have a longer life expectancy and spend more years in good health than those in the North.
People who live in the wealthiest areas have almost twice as many years of disability-free life ahead of them at 65 than those living in the poorest areas. With a greater burden of ill-health on the poorest in society, it is the poorest who will suffer most from the delays in diagnosis and treatment of health conditions that have resulted from the pandemic.
This means the coming years may bring not only a further reduction in disability-free life expectancy overall, but a larger gap between the richest and poorest.
The Centre for Better Ageing is calling for urgent action by national and local governments, businesses and the voluntary sector to address the gap in disability-free life expectancy.
Anna Dixon, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “In recent years we have made great progress in reducing pensioner poverty, increasing life expectancy and improving health. But not all places have seen the benefit of these gains and too many people have been left behind.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened these already shocking inequalities, with those in poor health hit harder and those who are poorer less able to recover financially from the impact of the crisis.
“If we continue on our current path, the gap between those who are able to enjoy later life and those who struggle through it will be even wider for future generations than it is for the present one. “
Watch below: Anna Dixon and George MacGinnis in conversation around healthy ageing and innovation.