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Older people now living longer

Older people now living longer
17th February 2016

New figures from Public Health England (PHE) have shown that life expectancy is increasing in the UK.

According to its latest report, men can expect to live for another 19 years and women another 21 years.

Although positive news, the data highlights the importance of investing in care for elderly, as the number of people who are living with some form of disability is also increasing. It's essential that those who are older are able to access the wide variety of services they may need, from occupational therapists to nutritionists and even dementia care.

The figures also vary depending on whereabouts in the UK an older person lives. In the north-east and north-west, life expectancies were lower than many other regions. For example, 65-year-old men living in London, the south-west, the south-east or east of England were likely to live at least a year longer than in the north-east and north-west.

Professor John Newton, chief knowledge officer at PHE, said it was "not yet clear" what was causing the regional differences.

He said the report, overall, presents a positive picture of older life nationally, with life expectancy at its highest since PHE first started recording it.

"People in England are living longer than ever and that makes achieving a good quality of life in later years even more important," added Professor Newton.

The report found that in most regions, male and female life expectancy at age 65 increased between 2013 and 2014, making it higher than any other year of data. The only exception was the north-east, where the highest level of life expectancy for men was highest in 2013.

Professor Newton said: "Our current evidence shows that people are living longer, but many are doing so in poor health."

He explained the report highlights the need for people to improve their health even when they are middle-aged.

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