The World Health Organisation predicts that between 2000 and 2050, the number of people aged 60 and over is expected to double, with one in five people being aged 60 and over by 2050. By 2020, the number of people aged 60 and over will outnumber children under 5 years old. By 2050, 80% of older people will be living in low and middle-income countries. Whilst global ageing demonstrates success in dealing with childhood disease and maternal mortality, the pace and scale of this transformation means all countries will face the challenge of ensuring their health and social systems are prepared.
The Centre for Global Ageing at King's aims to increase our understanding in areas that will impact on ageing societies, specifically medical innovations for chronic conditions; families and communities, work, retirement and health. An interdisciplinary project, the Centre brings together researchers from across the university as well as partnering other institutions and organisations. There are strong links between the Centre for Global Ageing and with projects in the areas of Global Palliative Care and Global Mental Health at King's.
King’s is involved in two major research collaborations funded by EU Horizon 2020 seeking to enhance healthy ageing. ATHLOS aims to achieve a better understanding of ageing by identifying patterns and determinants of healthy ageing trajectories, the critical time points when changes in trajectories are produced, and to propose timely clinical and public health interventions to optimise healthy ageing. The aim of the LIFEPATH project is to understand the determinants of diverging ageing pathways among people from different socio-economic groups.
Other studies explore the impact of social policy and societal transformation on ageing, health and wellbeing.Grandparenting in Europe examined how different ‘grandparent policy regimes’ are related to levels of involvement of grandparents with their grandchildren in ten European countries, making a major contribution to our understanding of the demography of grandparenting and the role grandparents play in family life. WHERL investigates ageing, work and health across the life-course, aiming to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the interactions between paid work and health, especially in later life.
The 10/66 Dementia Research Group co-ordinated from King’s, has conducted population-based cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys of the health of older people with partners in 13 low and middle income countries in Latin America, China, India and Africa. The research focuses on the burden of disease, disability and dependence, aetiology, and health and social care arrangements for older people.