Report background material

Birmingham Policy Commission on Healthy AgeingBirmingham Policy Commission on Healthy Ageing Report

To read the full account of the Commission thinking behind the findings and recommendations, please click on the links below:

Commission Key findings

1. The experience of ageing is a complex one that is only loosely associated with how old someone is.

2. Different cultures think about ageing in different ways – yet these differences are not fully understood in our society.

3. Health inequalities associated with socio-economic disadvantage are also found in the older population.

4. Enabling people to experience healthy ageing is a long-term project, for which society, communities, and we as individuals, need to plan carefully.

5. Older people want control and independence, but this can be in tension with their need for security, care and support. 

6. Investment in technological support for older people can contribute to healthy ageing, if the support is sensitively developed and applied.

7. Older people make a huge contribution to society. Some communities and faith groups draw on this contribution in responding to the needs of all their members. Sharing this good practice presents a real opportunity for communities of all kinds.

Commission Recommendations

1. When planning services for an ageing population in the UK, there is a need to recognise and accommodate super-diversity. Cultural sensitivity should be a vital component in all future services for older people.

2. The human rights of older people should be at the heart of health and social care policy.

3. A new statutory post of Commissioner for Older People should be created in England

4. Reciprocal relationships that bolster healthy ageing should be central to future care and support arrangements. 

5. Policy makers need to design policies that harness people's instinctive behaviours to work towards, rather than against, healthy ageing.

6. More effort needs to be made to give older people a louder voice in respect of their environment and local community

7. Ageing in a super-diverse society is a major challenge that society does not yet fully understand. Gaining a better understanding is something that Research Councils and other research commissioning bodies should prioritise.