The challenge of ageing in tomorrow's Britain



Bernard M & Phillips J (2000) The challenge of ageing in tomorrow's Britain. Ageing and Society, 20 (1), pp. 33-54.

Some 50 years after the creation of the welfare state and at the start of the new millennium, this paper considers the current and future status of older people in Britain. It argues that as the population ages, the situation of older people is becoming an increasingly important element in social policy debates. The first half of the paper critically reviews developments over the last five decades, emphasising the salience of accommodation issues during this period. In the light of recent initiatives such as ‘Better Government for Older People’, the second half of the paper outlines a policy agenda for the early years of the 21st century. We argue unequivocally for an integrated social policy which addresses the broad needs of an ageing society as opposed to narrow age-based interests, or the interests of specific problematised or stigmatised groups. The creation and delivery of such an integrated policy for tomorrow's Britain rests, we contend, on three crucial dimensions: an explicitly articulated value base; a consideration of the educational, technological and spatial aspects of policy; and harmonisation of action at both local and national levels.

Older people; ageing; integrated and critical social policy; welfare state; health and social care

Ageing and Society: Volume 20, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2000
Publication date online08/09/2000
Date accepted by journal22/02/1999
PublisherCambridge University Press

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