Life expectancy has levelled off – Alzheimer’s Society comment

Improvements in life expectancy have almost 'ground to a halt', says Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who's said he is 'deeply concerned' that increases in life expectancy had levelled off since 2010.

Sir Michael, who is director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, highlighted that the leading cause of death among the oldest is now dementia. He pointed out that spend on healthcare is going down, and spend on adult social care is going down, yet all the indicators suggest that the need is going up. He stressed that the rise in dementia will require an increase in health and care spending.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said

'Every day through our helpline we hear how the chronic lack of funding to the social care system over the last decade is devastating people with dementia. This latest analysis suggests just how far-reaching the consequences of austerity have been for the most vulnerable in our society. 

'Too often we hear the consequences of inadequate, underfunded care – our investigation last year revealed people with dementia left in soiled sheets, becoming ill after eating out of date food, and ending up in costly hospital or care home admissions unnecessarily.  

'The Government has to act before the care system collapses entirely. The promised consultation on social care reform can’t be a platitude or a way to buy more time. We need a long-term solution for social care, and – crucially - enough funding to implement it.'