Global ageing is going to change the social structure and expectations as people work longer, face greater risks of disease and require more care. How we identify and address the needs of ageing populations is a key concern for citizens, governments and the private, public and third sectors alike. Although there is no silver bullet, there is an opportunity to mitigate this risk through focusing on people's needs and leveraging the huge potential of digital technologies, co-creation and open innovation.

AAA has been running a series of events across Europe to gather consensus and promote knowledge exchange. Scroll down to see a summary of our most recent event, meet the speakers and see their presentations.

Summary of Neighbourhoods of the Future London 2017

  • By 2030 #Europe will be the oldest region in the world
  • In UK, people on average suggest 'old age' starts at 60 - in every other EU country it's later
  • For older people with long term conditions, every day spent in hospital tends to reduce life expectancy by a year
Housing provision
  • Over 70% of Europe's housing stock is not fit for purpose
  • Whatever is provided, we need a wide range of options for older adults with different needs. In other words, the offer must be differentiated.
  • There is great excess demand for proper housing developments for older adults
  • Research shows 3-4m current older people expect to move into supported housing eventually - only 0.14m available now
  • The overwhelming requirement is for ageing in place, but in a way that avoids social isolation; ideas such as that of Homeshare, matching older and younger people, with the latter caring in exchange for accommodation, should be encouraged
  • In addition to promoting universal design for new build, we must focus on remodelling existing housing stock, as the flow of new building is far too small to cope. It is not just a question of volume, but of innovation, quality assurance and new funding models
  • A diverse offer is needed - it must be segmented
  • Developments in urban settings are required, with facilities around/working closely with local hospitals and medical/health centres with extra care facilities provided
  • Integrated developments are rare, but they do exist, in some cases involving shared facilities such as swimming pools, libraries, community centres (new models) and shops, using digital technology where appropriate e.g. monitoring systems, smart cards, sensors, electric windows, supported by a location manager. We should be building communities. 'If you live with us you have to eat with us.'
  • Need test-bed/pilot communities where everything connects
Digital transformation
  • Access to healthcare can be provided digitally, perhaps eventually via a virtual GP, but the idea of needing "human hands" pervades thinking about social care. Older adults need people, companionship, safety and security
  • In one survey, 24% of respondents suggested that they would prefer to be cared for by robots than by humans
  • People should be at the heart of Care, not Tech. Innovative model 4 ppl to trade in time not money & bank future care
  • Technology developed to benefit people can also hurt them - so its legal implications must be taken seriously
  • Change is an enemy to older people, we must start sooner
  • AI is ready, as is digital healthcare, but many innovations are solutions in search of problems, with no business plan
  • Need for new business models, involving private, public and 3rd sector stakeholders
  • Who pays for ageing?
  • Insurance can be a source of funding, but not with current policies – we need to reinvent insurance. Better access and analysis is key. This means new forms of relationship with consumers
  • An incentive to downsize is required, in order to help individuals who would prefer smaller more suitable homes. This would also release funding for care in later life and release housing for younger generations
  • Need to think about new ways of funding remodelling and retrofitting
  • Design led innovation can lessen the load of ageing
  • Years full of life, rather than life full of years
  • Abandon the "one size fits all", utility mentality so common in public health and care services
  • Involve cross-functional teams that bring together the core stakeholders. Team members agree on collective aims and objectives and hammer out their differences within the group, reaching alignment by focusing on customer needs
  • Think about age friendly urban environments as well as homes
Top question at Neighbourhoods of the Future - what is the bottleneck to innovation? Answer: building evidence funders can buy into