Headlines: June 17th, 1999

The population of the UK is ageing and the number of people over 50 has doubled this century. Strategies for responding to this situation are being developed as part of the Better Government for Older People Programme. Ministers are now engaged in a series of events to find out concerns directly from older people. The events are arranged jointly with voluntary bodies and will continue until November.

The findings from the events will be supplemented by a report from the Office for National Statistics. The report provides a comprehensive picture of the lives of older people. It draws together data from a wide range of sources, on financial matters, living arrangements, occupation and education, health and care issues, and social factors. The picture that emerges is of older people enjoying more active lives and contributing more to society, for example, through increased voluntary work.

Feedback from all sources will be used locally and nationally to influence decision making on issues that affect older people. All central departments have been set targets for reviewing the way they involve older people in developing policy.