The demographic situation in Europe is changing rapidly. Humans are getting older, and the proportion of older people is rising, also because the birth rates have fallen. Demographic changes are seen as a fundamental challenge for our welfare and economies. Societies have to embrace various policy options to improve healthy ageing and to help people to stay healthy and active in old age. Between European countries and in different regions, health status and life expectancy vary considerably. Inequalities in income, education, housing, employment and access to health and social care facilities affect population’s health directly and indirectly. This chapter gives a short overview of the demographic trends and the consequences for societies in Europe. It describes a life course perspective on healthy ageing, starting with children and adolescents, tomorrow’s workforce and the changing retirement context. The number of people requiring informal care will increase and therefore is considered at meso, macro and micro level. We end this chapter with an overview of the consequences of the demographic changes for the health and social care systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOlder People: Improving Health and Social Care
Subtitle of host publicationFocus on the European Core Competences Framework
EditorsBea L. Dijkman, Irma Mikkonen, Petrie F. Roodbol
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-97610-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-97609-9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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