There’s lot of talk about the demographic timebomb — with increases in life expectancy, and the trend (in the West) for smaller family sizes.
Globally the percentage of the population that is 65 or older will double from 10% to 20% by 2050. In the UK, forecasts suggest there will be only 3.3 working age adults earning money to support the pensions and care of each elderly person.
This is better than in Japan, where there are only 2.1, but much less secure than the 11.3 in Bangladesh.
This demographic timebomb is not only an economic problem. Where are all the carers going to come from as these older people get sicker and frailer, and need support?
When I spoke at St Josephs hospice on home deaths, the lovely audience wanted specific links to what I think are the best videos on palliative care. Here they are below.
Before that though, I wanted to share some more local data. I spoke about the shocking effects on deprivation in Scotland, and said it would be similar elsewhere. I’m not happy to be proved right.
This week’s BMA News Review says that, in Tower Hamlets, “adults can expect to have the disease profile of a 75 year old at the age of just 55”.
So, it’s even more important to look at Martin Wilson on ‘realistic palliative care for an ageing population’. This includes shocking data, and shocking conclusions, on how living and dying if you’re in a deprived area is like being on another planet. As well as how death is a feminist issue:
Then, here’s Kieran Sweeney talking about how, amongst other things “… clinicians inadvertently heap small humiliations on patients”. This is, sadly, true. Please talk a moment to think if you have ever done this. Not on purpose, of course! And how you might never do it again.