As a society, we need to help people to remain purposeful and continuing to learn to ensure they remain independent for as long as possible.


The number of people over 65 in the UK is already over 10 million and is expected to nearly double by 2050. Indeed those people over the older age of 80 are also increasing rapidly and will be up to around 3 million themselves by 2020. These are levels never previously seen and it will not be too long before the number of older people will outnumber the number of children and younger people in the UK for the very first time.

Increasing numbers of this older section of the community will rely on support from family, friends, charities or volunteers while others will depend on local social or medical services, which will be a significant pressure on the country’s finances and workforce. According to the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) (now just the Department for Education (DfE)) the costs of long-term care of elderly people was a hefty £11 billion in 1995 and will probably be at least £25.9 billion by 2021.