What does the future hold?

Third Force News (TFN) asked us to tell us their vision for the sector in 10 years’ time.  This is how our Chief Executive replied: 

By 2024 I hope those doom-mongering about our ageing population will have fallen silent, proven wrong as people increasingly live active later lives that keep them happy, well, and independent.

Brian Sloan, chief executive, Age Scotland

Brian Sloan, Chief Executive, Age Scotland

If we invest wisely in preventative services, the best examples of which are often delivered by third sector organisations, we can achieve this. However endless budget salami slicing and bureaucratic tangles could throw this ambition off-course. We also need to abolish extreme health and income inequalities, otherwise too many will find the positive lifestyle choices necessary to enjoy later life just too difficult to make.

The concept of retirement will have changed beyond recognition. Already rising state pension ages and the ending of the default retirement age are meaning more of us are working into our 70s and beyond. This will be positive if governments and employers work together to enable people to enjoy productive, stimulating and flexible later careers. Not only would incidence of low self-esteem and isolation reduce, but younger generations would better appreciate older people’s value.  However, if we don’t prepare many older people will end up stuck in jobs they can no longer do or feel they have done too long.

As more digital natives enter later life the balance of Age Scotland’s communications will shift online.  But some older people will still require, or prefer, printed formats so these won’t disappear entirely.  I look forward to more older citizen journalists emerging, able and willing to tell their stories using digital communications technology.

You can see what the other charities have to say in the series here.

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