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Centre for Ageing Better
Research and policy
Latest research and policy about ageing
UK poverty 2017
Over the last two decades, the UK has dramatically reduced poverty among those most at risk, but these trends are now reversing with poverty rates rising once more. Read more
Publication | Joseph Rowntree Foundation | 4 December 2017
Fulfilling work
Exploring retirement transitions
International Longevity Centre - UK – 5 December 2017
This report examines extended working lives, the life course and retirement transitions. It looks at how late career transitions are developing in England and how the idea of 'extended working lives' are being constructed within the workplace.
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Working for everyone
International Longevity Centre - UK – 5 December 2017
This report examines how working conditions, health and caring responsibilities affect workforce participation. With the recognition that working lives will need to be extended beyond 50, this report provides an evidence base on how to provide the necessary support to enable longer working lives.
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Social capital and unretirement – exploring the bonding, bridging, and linking aspects of social relationships
Gonzales E and Nowell W B, Research on Aging, 39 (10) December 2017
How is the likelihood of returning to work after retirement affected by ‘social capital’? Social bonding (close family ties), social bridging (looser connections with friends and neighbours in the same social stratum) and social linking (connections to individuals in other social strata) are key aspects of social capital. This study finds that social bridging (through informal volunteering) and, for someone with an employed spouse, social linking (through formal volunteering) are strongly related to an increased likelihood of returning to work after retirement.
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Pensions at a glance 2017
OECD – 5 December 2017
This report finds that public spending on pensions in OECD countries as risen by about 1.5 per cent of GDP since 2000 but the pace of spending growth is projected to slow substantially. It argues that further reforms are needed to mitigate the impact of population ageing, increasing inequality amongst older people and the changing nature of work.
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Public attitudes on State Pensions
YouGov – 11 December 2017
This YouGov Daily survey examined public attitudes on how State Pensions are calculated.
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A good retirement: public attitudes to the role of the state and the individual in achieving financial security in later life
Demos – 13 December 2017
This report outlines the findings of a major research project which explored how the public view their responsibilities in later life. It finds that there is a lack of public awareness about the costs of social care and that there is poor preparation for these potential costs.
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Automatic enrolment review 2017: maintaining the momentum
Department for Work and Pensions – 18 December 2017
This review of automatic enrolment includes major recommendations that will set millions of people on the path to a more financially secure retirement. It looks at past, present and future workplace pension saving and confirms that automatic enrolment’s harnessing of inertia has worked, and that the financial behaviour of millions of people has changed, so that they now view pensions as a normal part of their pay package.
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Homes, neighbourhoods and communities
Moving insights from the over-55s: what homes do they buy?
NHBC Foundation – 7 December 2017
This research looks at the reasons why the over-55s move and what types of homes they buy. It finds that for this group, the most important features include reduced maintenance, low-running costs and availability of warranty.
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Combatting loneliness one conversation at a time: a call to action
Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness – 15 December 2017
This report outlines the findings of the Commission and how loneliness affects different groups of people within society. The report highlights the range of people that loneliness impacts on and shows how tackling loneliness can benefit individuals and communities.
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Predictors of loneliness and different types of social isolation of rural-living older adults in the United Kingdom
de Koning J L, Stathi A and Richards S, Ageing and Society, 37 (10) November 2017
‘Loneliness’ and ‘social isolation’ are not the same as each other but each can adversely affect health and wellbeing in older age. This study of older people in rural areas of South West England and South Wales finds little overlap between loneliness, isolation from the family, and isolation from the community.
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Care and support
Evaluation of telephone first approach to demand management in English general practice
Newbould J, Abel G, Ball S (et al), BMJ 2017;358:j4197 September 2017
For adults in England, the likelihood of using GP services increases with age, and older people are those most affected by any restrictions in access to GP services. ‘Telephone first’ is a gatekeeper approach to demand management for access to face-to-face visits to a GP. This evaluation of ‘telephone first’ appointment services finds that while they are effective in reducing the number of face-to-face GP visits (-38%), and the waiting time to be seen (-20%), this does not equate to an improvement in patient outcomes, GP workload or overall cost savings.
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Doing care differently
Independent Age – 14 December 2017
This report sets out a summary of what needs to be considered in order to deliver a social care funding solution for now and the future. It examines six key areas of the social care reform agenda: demand, funding and responsibility, quality, integrated care, technology, and sustainability and value for money.
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Health and wellbeing
Productive healthy ageing and musculoskeletal health
Public Health England – 6 December 2017
This resource for health professionals and local authorities makes the case for action in midlife to support a healthy and productive later life. It highlights the need to challenge ageism and promote healthy and active ageing.
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Productive healthy ageing case studies
Public Health England – 6 December 2017
These case studies provide examples of best practice on how the NHS and local authorities have taken action to promote healthy and active ageing in their local areas.
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Effects of digital engagement on the quality of life of older people
Damant J, Knapp M (et al), Health and Social Care in the Community, 25 (6) November 2017
Can engagement with Information and Communication Technology improve older people’s quality of life? It can, but it can also make life worse and, most commonly, it has very little effect. This review found that research results are inconsistent and, while qualitative studies report clear examples of how ICT can improve quality of life for older people, for example using email and Skype to maintain contact with family and friends, quantitative studies tend to find a small or negative effect on, for example loneliness.
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Stress and subjective age - those with greater financial stress look older
Agrigoroaei S, Lee-Attardo A and Lachman M E, Research on Aging, 39 (10) December 2017
Financial stress makes older people look and feel older than they actually are. This longitudinal study, from the USA, confirms what we might suspect, that older people suffering from financial stress, feel and look older than they are, irrespective of their actual health, income or appearance, and this difference becomes more pronounced as people grow older.
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Does pride really come before a fall? Longitudinal analysis of older English adults
McMinn D, Fergusson S J and Daly M, BMJ, 2017;359:j5451 November 2017
Contrary to the well-known proverb “pride comes before a fall”, this study finds that pride may actually be a protective factor against falling in older age. Although it does not distinguish between self-pride and pride in others, this study, using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), finds that, when other factors have been taken into account, older people who experience pride are less likely to have a fall in the two years following that experience.
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Spirituality promotes better health outcomes and lowers anxiety about aging
MacKinlay E and Burns R, Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging, 29 (4) October-December 2017
Increased spirituality provides a buffer against adverse life events. Levels of spirituality are not, however, directly related to levels of religious affiliation. This non-random study of care providers and children of care recipients from UnitingCare, and congregation members from the Uniting Church, in Australia, born between 1946 and 1961, finds that higher levels of spirituality reduce anxiety about ageing and improve health and wellbeing outcomes.
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What do older people experiencing loneliness think about primary care or community based interventions to reduce loneliness?
Kharicha K, Iliffe S, Manthorpe J (et al), Health and Social Care in the Community, 25 (6) November 2017
“Loneliness is not an illness”. This study of the views of older people who are lonely, or at risk of loneliness, finds that they think primary care is not an appropriate place for loneliness interventions. They would be put off by interventions that appear to be targeting loneliness or older people, and would prefer ‘shared interest’ group activity to one-to-one befriending schemes.
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The Centre for Ageing Better received £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund in January 2015 in the form of an endowment to enable it to identify what works in the ageing sector by bridging the gap between research, evidence and practice.
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