Six million older people will be suffering from a debilitating long-term illness by 2025, Help the Aged said today.
The charity’s biomedical research arm, Research into Ageing, has predicted that numbers will rise by 45% from the current 4.2m, after compiling statistics from a range of sources.
This is just above the predicted 42% rise in the number of people aged over 65 between now and 2025, from 9.7m to 14m.
Dr Lorna Layward, of Research into Ageing, said: “With an ever-ageing population, we are set to see increases in a whole range of distressing diseases, from dementia to incontinence, within a generation.”
Dementia and disability up
According to the statistics, by 2025 the number of older people suffering from dementia will have increased by 50% from about 670,000 to one million. The number of disabled older people will rise by two-thirds from 870,000 to about 1.5m.
Layward called for more funding to be directed towards researching the causes, prevention and treatment of age-related illnesses and disabilities. “National spending on age-related illness is woefully inadequate and most age-related diseases are shockingly under-researched and under-funded,” she said.
Currently, the Department of Health and the NHS collectively spend just 1% of their total research and development budget on ageing-related medical research, Help the Aged said.