While Covid-19 pandemic meant the ACRC launch was a largely restricted to being a virtual affair, the digital nature of it did have plenty of benefits, not least the fact that ACRC was able to stage six linked online seminars during the week following the launch.
Following that success, further events are planned in the future. To keep up to date with that and all the rest of the latest news, more information is on the ACRC website and there is a monthly newsletter that’s available to anyone who wants to subscribe.
We’re committed to supporting the ACRC because people in the UK and many other countries are living longer. Increasing life expectancy is to be celebrated, but it poses major challenges for many individuals and families, and for both public and private sectors.
The problem is not simply that people are living longer but are living longer in poor health. In the UK, life expectancy has grown faster than healthy life expectancy, with men now expected to spend 16 years of life in poor health, and women 19 years.
Increasing numbers of people living with multiple health conditions (known as multimorbidity). The majority of over-75s have at least three major chronic conditions and this is strongly associated with reduced quality of life, which drives the need for support from family or health and social care services in later life.
Professor Guthrie believes it is time to stop thinking solely about how we extend life with often arduous treatments and to think harder about how we also improve the quality of the life we already have.
He argues that an overly medical focus means many people in later life are taking large numbers of medicines and attending several appointments for separate conditions rather than being helped to more effectively manage the complexity of their individual circumstances with minimal burden.
He adds: “The ACRC will work with people in later life and their families and with health and social care services to really understand how we might have a different care system. We really need that because the numbers of the oldest old is rapidly increasing. The current system is barely coping with providing barely adequate care to the existing population. If you jump forward 20 or 30 years, even that isn’t sustainable without an enormous increase in budget, so we need to get both better and more efficient.”
ACRC will carry out ground-breaking research into data-driven, personalised and affordable care. It aims to find solutions that will support the independence, dignity and quality of life of older people living in their own homes or supported environments.
Activity and research at ACRC will include:
The common rhetoric is that the ageing population is a disaster that’s going to destroy society. However, living longer is actually a good thing, but we need to make sure that more of our years are lived with good quality of meaningful life.
The ACRC launch event and all six of the linked seminars are all available to watch online:
Plenary and Panel Discussion:
Covid-19 in Social Care:
Insights from Data:
Importance of Place: