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How do we effectively deal with the increasing average age?
The UK’s progressive health care policy has led to a high quality of life for citizens of the member states over the past several decades. As a result, the population has become physically healthier and many lifestyle induced diseases like, cardiovascular disease, have experienced reductions in prevalence and mortality within the UK. Therefore, the national average age has grown from by nearly five years over the past three decades. This rising age has led to an annual average population growth of approximately 240,000 individuals. While this growing population age illustrates the benefits of the UK’s expansive health and social care efforts, the increasing age has also placed an increasing burden on the health care budget, with elderly health and social care amounting to about £20 billion annually. This total will likely increase as the population continues to enjoy longer lives. However, just 64 per cent of elderly individuals report feeling satisfied with their current level of care. Therefore, efforts need to be taken to adapt to this increasing population and likely higher allocation of funds and services to support older population members. One way in which to do so is to maximize health care efficiency. Improving the efficiency of care longitudinally may ultimately reduce expenditures. Instead, promoting long-term prevention through nationally implemented diet, physical activity and social/psychological care efforts will help to reduce strain on the national health care budget. Through promoting health lifestyle behaviours, providing community resources to engage in such behaviours and promoting a long-term preventative model of medicine, we can accommodate an increasing national average age.
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