In Europe and around the world, people are living longer than ever before. This is one of the greatest achievements of the past century, but it also brings challenges for European societies and the EU as a whole.
We must adjust to an ageing and shrinking workforce, and find financially viable ways to deliver high-quality health and social care for all.
What the report says
SAPEA’s evidence review report shows that the ageing process needs to be transformed. Europe must tackle the challenges presented by ageing in every generation.
- When it comes to predicting how people age, evidence indicates that genetic factors are relatively minor compared to lifestyle behaviours such as a healthy diet and physical activity. Policies to promote these behaviours from early childhood, and even in unborn children, contribute directly to a healthy ageing process across people’s whole lives.
- Ageing in the future will take place in a very different context from the past and will be profoundly affected by phenomena such as climate change, air pollution and antibiotic resistance, as well as ongoing social changes. Policies will only be successful if they accommodate these changes.
- Technology is already changing the experience of ageing, including wearable and assistive devices and the advent of AI. But barriers of acceptance and practicality must be overcome.
- Education improvements at a young age are vital not only to improve individual health, but also to equip our future workforce with the skills it needs to support an ageing population in a rapidly changing society.
Read the full report here
SAPEA brings together outstanding expertise in engineering, humanities, medicine, natural and social sciences from over 100 academies, young academies and learned societies across Europe.
SAPEA is part of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism. Together with the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, we provide independent scientific advice to European Commissioners to support their decision-making. We also work to strengthen connections between Europe’s academies and Academy Networks, and to stimulate debate in Europe about the role of evidence in policy-making.
SAPEA is funded by grant 737432 from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.