Britain is embarking upon a multi-million government scheme that will develop products and services that allow the elderly to stay independently in their own homes for longer.
A whopping £300 million fund has been designated to help improve the physical and mental health of the elderly. The project would also provide £40 million for the UK Dementia Research Institute. According to the Government’s vision, it seeks to improve and validate its dementia care and research to be the best globally by 2020.
At present there are 10 million Britons that are likely to reach 100 years of age. Statistics show that at present around 18 percent of the population are aged over 65 years. It is estimated that by the year 2046, nearly one in four would be elderly and the total number of the aged would rise to 76 million.
The new scheme would designate £98 million to help these elderly stay at their own homes, be independent and well. This is called the “healthy ageing programme”. The scheme also pays attention to tackling loneliness that comes with age. New housing models, products for retirement and financial planning etc. would all be taken care of.
Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care, in her statement said, “As a society we are living longer – a child born today can expect to live to 100 years – but now we must seize the opportunity to improve the quality of lives lived longer. She added, “With an increasingly ageing population we must transform the way we think about our work, our housing, our health our finances and our communities… These investments will not only help in our aims to make this the best country in the world to live with dementia but provide a revolutionary vital boost to develop and scale up products and services of the future, ensuring everyone can age well and live more independently throughout their lives.”
A large majority of the elderly is ill and need treatment. £210 million of the funding would be designated to diagnosis of diseases among the elderly using artificial intelligence. Further, 500,000 UK Biobank participants would have their DNA data banked and databased. This DNA information would help in research and development of various diseases such as dementia as well as other age related conditions. AI regional centres for excellence would be set up across the country, as the plan goes. These would help companies test new products.
Business Secretary Greg Clark welcomed this new development and scheme saying that this would not only “boost innovation and productivity” all over UK but also change “people’s lives for the better.” He said that this money would help R&D for new technology and also help the aged to grow old in their own homes while maintaining their dignity. Many others have applauded these efforts.
From the funds set aside for dementia research, a new dementia hub would be set up by the University College London along with other neurology clinics.