The Five Nations Care Forum met this week in Belfast. Bringing together representatives of care providers from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and England. Amongst the varied priorities for discussion, a dominant theme emerged in relation to the global ageing agenda.

In 2019, there were 703 million people aged 65 and over in the world. Projections are that number will double to 1.5 billion in 2050, with one in six people in the world age 65 or older1. Whilst we should of course celebrate the increase in longevity that we will hopefully all enjoy; it also is not a population shift that can be managed without significant changes to the way in which we all live. Climate goals are firmly embedded in our psyche, but the call for a transformation in approaches to ageing do not get anywhere near the same profile, yet the impact on communities, people, economies, and rights all require our attention. Zero Ageism should be our 2050 slogan, as a focus on the rights of older people will lead to a care system fit for the future.

Sustainable Care – A vision for the future

In response to this all parties at the Five Nations Care Forum agreed we need a new vision for the future, that should encompass our desire for all to be able not just to live longer, but to live high quality lives with dignity, respect, self-determination, and independence. In September this year, the Global Ageing Network and partners Scottish Care and the National Care Forum are hosting a Global Care Conference in Glasgow.  We are at a crossroads, as the ageing population grows, more of the same is not an option, resources are limited and the conference provides a collective space to learn, explore and imagine. Alongside the conference there will be an International Workforce Summit, recognising that countries around the world are experiencing a workforce crisis, and solutions to labour shortages must be both ethical and underpinned by a constant drive to increase quality.

The Five Nations Care Forum are committed to continue to develop our agenda for change in Glasgow as we come back together with colleagues from every part of the globe to work together to ensure a sustainable future for long-term care. Delegates are already confirmed from over 40 countries all wanting to work together as a global collective working together and collaborating for a sustainable future for care. We call on each and everyone involved in care to be part of this movement and join the debate in Glasgow. Social care matters to us all.

Editors Notes;

  • Details of the Conference can be found here
  • The 5 Nations Care Forum is an alliance of the professional associations representing the care sector across the UK and Ireland. Through a collective commitment to information sharing, joint lobbying, shared learning and support, the aim of the 5 Nations Care Forum is to add value to members activity by promoting the interests of service recipients, staff and service providers. The Forum seeks to encourage the development of a joined-up approach to matters which have a UK-wide or European dimension.