“What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it.”
— Margaret Dole
Banner image (photo of Holyrood Parliament Banner image (photo of a delegate in a suit listening intently at a conference)

“The idea that 59 is old belongs in the past. We need to challenge our perceptions of what ‘old age’ actually means…It is no longer the time where people are sitting back and enjoying the ‘twilight’ of their lives, instead it is often a time for new choices and new opportunities … ”
— Pensions Minister, 17th May 2011

“By 2050, Britain will have to spend £80 billion per year above what it does now on pensions, long-term elderly care and the NHS…The cost of Britain’s ageing population will be 10 times more expensive than the financial crisis.”
— OECD, 23rd May 2011


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Event Details

Title: Caring for our Future: Supporting Active Ageing in the UK
Date: Tuesday 17th April 2012
Time: 10.00am – 4:30pm
Venue: Central London
Register your place

Key Speakers

Brian Keating, National Project Manager for the Ageing Well Programme, Department for Work and Pensions
Caroline Abrahams, Director of External Affairs, Age UK


Life expectancy has been growing steadily for over half a century and the UK has now reached a point where there are more people over State Pension age than there are children. People are living longer and healthier lives. In 1982, 30% of people were over the age of 50; in 2009 it was 34%, and by 2026 it will be 40%. With 17 million births recorded in Britain during 1946-64, this ‘baby-boom’ generation is now reaching retirement age and is set to have a dramatic effect on the society and economy of Britain. There are currently four people of working age supporting each pensioner in Britain; by 2050 this number is expected to fall to just two.

As the population ages, the cost of age-related health conditions will inevitably rise. In the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia in the UK will double to 1.4 million, while costs could treble to over £50 billion a year. With the elderly becoming the fastest growing age group in Britain, increasing pressure is being placed on healthcare and social care services.

But the population is changing in positive ways too, economically active pensioners were 3% of the workforce in 1992, but were 5% in 2009. According to Department for Work and Pensions figures; by 2030, people over 50 will comprise almost a third of the workforce and almost half of the adult population. An increasingly older population doesn’t just represent a cost to the public sector – it also provides an opportunity to make the most of older people’s contributions to the community. Recognising this very important objective, the European Commission has designated 2012 as the ‘European Year for Active Ageing’.

With the demographics of society changing, the UK Government launched Caring for our future: Shared ambitions for care and support (September 2011) to ensure the care and support system is sustainable for the long term. Furthermore, a subsequent Social Care Reform White Paper (expected April 2012) will build on A Vision for Adult Social Care: Capable Communities and Active Citizens (November 2010) setting out principles for a modern system of care and support.

As the two-year Ageing Well Programme comes to an end in April 2012, this timely symposium provides a key platform to assess how effective the programme has been in supporting local authorities to improve their services for older people. Delegates will have the opportunity to raise awareness of active ageing and stimulate debate to improve the vitality of older people, enhancing their involvement in society and encouraging inter-generational work.

Delegates will:

  • Gain an insight into the latest policy developments and examine the future of adult social care with an ageing population
  • Explore the positive contribution that older people make to society and the economy with greater participation in employment and volunteering
  • Discuss how to ensure the adult social care workforce is skilled, valued and supported
  • Develop effective approaches to inter-generational work and discuss the need to raise awareness of the value of active ageing
  • Consider how to work in partnership to overcome barriers facing the older generation and improving ways in which to integrate them into wider society


09:30 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:15 Chair’s Welcome and Introduction
10:30 Panel Session One:
Caring for Our Future – The National Framework
  • The Political and Social Landscape – How Government Policy and Reforms will Affect You
  • Active Ageing in Britain – Priorities and Tackling Negative Perceptions Towards Older People through Involvement in Planning at the Outset
  • How to Meet a Rise in Demand for Social Care and the Diverse Needs of Service Users
  • Impact of Changes to Regulation for Social Care Providers and Approaches to Shaping and Empowering Frontline Care
  • Transforming Care and Support Services through a Better Skilled Adult Social Care Workforce
11:15 Morning Coffee Break
11:30 Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One
12:30 Networking Lunch
13:30 Panel Session Two:
Age Active, Age Well – The Next Steps towards Integrating an Older Population
  • Overcoming Barriers to Integration and Tackling the Financial Challenge
  • Understanding the Levels of Poverty, the Effects of Social Exclusion Facing People in Older Age and Using Engagement to Drive Improvement
  • Age Positive – Managing Without a Fixed Retirement Age and Encouraging Volunteering
  • Improving the Quality of Life for Older People by Dealing with Health Inequalities and Care Services
  • Realising the Benefits of the Older Generation and Targeting Members of the Community Most at Risk of Isolation and Ill Health
14:15 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:30 Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two
15:30 Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments
15:40 Networking Reception
16:30 Close

Who Should Attend?

  • Central Government and Agencies
  • Local Authority Officers and Councillors
  • Primary Care Trusts
  • Health Practitioners
  • Social Care Practitioners
  • Health Promotion Agencies
  • Care Providers
  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • Patient’s Organisations
  • Community Cohesion Officers
  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Community Relations Advisers
  • Social Inclusion Officers
  • Disability Practitioners
  • Equal Opportunities Officers
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Practitioners
  • Pension’s Organisations
  • Pension Funds
  • Legal Advisers
  • National Association of Pensioners
  • Campaigning Organisations
  • National Senior Citizens Organisations
  • Citizen’s Advice
  • Welfare and Elderly Federations
  • Unions of Retired Persons
  • Active Ageing Organisations
  • Social Services
  • Institutes of Lifelong Learning
  • Adult Education Organisations
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Bodies
  • Palliative Care Associations
  • Faith Organisations
  • Charities, Social Enterprises and Cooperatives
  • Third Sector Practitioners
  • Trade Union Representatives
  • Academics and Researchers

How to Book

Phone: 0845 606 1535
Fax:     0845 606 1539
Email: bookings@publicpolicyexchange.co.uk