30 April 2009

NESTA’s Age Unlimited project

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NESTA, the UK Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, just announced that it has undertaken research which leads it to believe the UK is unprepared for ageing. Just under a third of all pensioners live on or close to the poverty line and twelve million people – half the UK workforce – are putting nothing aside for old age. Demographic patterns mean these trends are getting worse and the UK is failing to find new solutions, focusing instead on existing services and initiatives.

NESTA’s Public services innovation Lab is responding by launching a programme that will design innovative new approaches to create sustained personal well-being for an ageing society. The aim is to get people in their 50’s to plan earlier for old age, when they are in a position to make informed choices about the type of lifestyle they want to lead.

‘Age Unlimited’ will call on policy makers and this new generation of Third-Agers – people aged 50-70 – to shift the focus from retirement to being prepared for ageing. It will experiment with ways of extending working age and social participation and strike a better balance between the contribution and costs of an ageing society in the UK.

A call for ideas has just been launched.

Associated materials

Preparing for ageing
This report (summaryfull report) commissioned by NESTA from Deloitte describes the challenge of an ageing society, assesses the role that innovation is currently playing in meeting this challenge, and identifies where innovation needs to be harnessed more fully. It covers the public, private and voluntary sectors, across five areas: housing; the local environment; health and social care; personal finance; and social inclusion.

The new old age
Perspectives on innovating our way to the good life for all. A collection of essays that form part of our first Lab ‘Accounts’ and complement our Research Summary – ‘Preparing for Ageing’.

Voices of older people (video)
An introduction to what older people feel about the ageing process and their attitudes to retirement in the UK. This film supports the work of The Lab from NESTA as part of our Age Unlimited work.

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