The population of the UK is rapidly ageing. While 17 per cent of the population were aged 65 and over in 2010, that proportion is expected to increase to 23 per cent by 2035. Long-term social trends also mean that people retiring now are more likely to live alone, increasing the risk that they will experience loneliness and social isolation in later life. These trends have been compounded by the ‘hollowing out’ of communities, with both private and public sector institutions that traditionally act as social hubs – local pubs, post offices and libraries – facing funding cuts or closing down.
Ageing Sociably explores how we can unlock existing community resources to increase the opportunities for older people to make social connections in their local area. Responding both to the financial pressures facing statutory and charitable bodies, and increasing calls from politicians and the public for a more responsible capitalism, the report focuses on the role that businesses can play.
In this report we identify the business case for companies to develop more ‘age friendly’ ways of working and to do more to support older people’s participation in the local community. We recommend that companies embed community engagement into their business models and thereby benefit commercially, while also increasing their positive social impact.