Ageing Well Evidence Review

Ageing well – building a system to meet the needs of the next generation of older adults

Published: 14/09/2021

Author: Research in Practice

A new Evidence Review aims to mobilise people to build an adult social care system that is better equipped to meet the needs of the next generation of older adults.

People are living well for longer and most people can expect to live well into their sixties. The older population is increasing at an unprecedented pace and is likely to accelerate in the coming decade, impacting people of all ages. This will require fundamental changes to society, including in health, social care, housing and urban planning, in order to meet the emerging needs of the ‘baby boomer’ generation, the next cohort of adults on the threshold of later life.

A new Evidence Review aims to mobilise people working across a range of sectors who have a role in supporting and enabling people in later life, including the social care, health, housing and business technology sectors. The review considers key issues such as the changing definition and meaning of ‘ageing well’ in today’s society, the diversifying needs, strengths and aspirations of the next generation of older adults, as well as how issues of structural inequalities shape people’s lives as they grow older and the choices they make. Evidence Review chapters include:

Each of the Evidence Review chapters will be released over the next few months as monthly instalments. The chapters contain ideas and suggestions to support leaders and practitioners to embed the key message into their practice. Please share widely with colleagues working in social care, housing and healthcare. 

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Ageing well - Introduction

The introduction considers the social context in which this review has taken place, exploring central questions such as who the ‘baby boomers’ are, what ‘older age’ means, and how older age might be understood and reimagined in a society that is living well, for longer. The main learning points for practice, as well as opportunities and challenges identified in each of the four themed chapters, are set out in this introduction.

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An Introduction to the Ageing well: Evidence Review

Consider who the ‘baby boomers’ are, what ‘older age’ means, and how 'older age' might be understood and reimagined in a society that is living well, for longer.
Read the introduction

Housing options and alternative modes of living for later life – chapter one

Chapter one provides an overview of the current and emerging issues in relation to housing, modes of living and care for a new and diversifying generation of older adults. It discusses recent developments in the domain of housing and accommodation and how these may be mobilised in adult social care to respond to the needs of a demographic of older people who may wish to live in ways that are fundamentally different to the generations of older people before them.

This chapter will be of interest to residential care managers, older peoples’ service managers, and strategic planners responsible for the development of local authority housing strategy and procurement planning for older peoples’ care and support services. It will also be of interest to practitioners supporting people in decision-making around their housing options in later life.

An open-access podcast also explores co-housing as an alternative housing option in later life, considering how it can reduce loneliness and foster social connectedness, independence and community.

Adults ER Ageingwellhousing Cover

Housing options and alternative modes of living for later life – chapter one

Focus on future housing options and alternative modes of living for later life in chapter one of the Evidence Review.
Read chapter one

Intimacy, sex and relationships in later life chapter two

This chapter provides an overview of the diversifying and emergent needs of a new generation of older people in relation to sex, intimacy and relationships, and the significance of these in later life. It explores the role of adult social care in supporting and enabling relationships among older adults in receipt of services, as well as the implications for practice. Key issues relating to the intersections of gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity and culture are explored.

It will be of interest to practitioners, residential care managers, older peoples’ service managers, strategic decision-makers and planners responsible for the design and procurement of sexual health provision for older adults, and/or LGBTQ+ support services for older adults.

Adults ER Ageingwell Relationships Image

Intimacy, sex and relationships in later life – chapter two

Explore the role of adult social care in supporting and enabling relationships among older adults in receipt of services, as well as the implications for practice.
Read chapter two