A hundred is the new ninety!
By Guest Blogger LEON SMITH
Executive vice president,
We know that more people in the UK are now living to 100 than ever before. In 2014 there were 7,500 people who received a congratulations card from the Queen on their 100th birthday. Unfortunately, due to cost, the Queen is no longer able to send birthday greetings to people aged 101 and 102 etc. After the age of 100, these are only sent every five years.
Recent research carried out by the Office of National Statistics indicates that the number of centenarians will increase to 111,000 by 2037. When I first came to work in the care sector a 100th birthday was worthy of front page coverage in the local newspaper, but now they are two a penny! 100th birthdays are becoming so common one can only assume that a hundred is the new ninety! When I hear that somebody is eighty, I now think that they are young! (everything is relative).
Life expectancy continues to extend and to a certain point, it will continue to do so. But this causes one to lament that as a society we seem to be so unprepared for the fact that we are going to have to care for an ever growing population of older people.
This situation will, of course, peak as and when the generation of baby boomers reach their late seventies. This is not now so far off. The issue of having an increased number of older people to care for is not one which has crept up on us over night, but it is one that statisticians and demographers have been telling us for many, many years. Perhaps the time is right now to start planning for the day when Her Majesty will only send greetings messages to people when they attain their 110th birthday!
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.