The call by Messrs Mario Draghi and Emmanuel Macron for a new growth strategy under France’s EU presidency should be guided by three principles aligned with their point about “demographic evolutions changing the structure of our societies” (Opinion, December 24). First, there should be an unalterable commitment to the “silver economy” which must be at the heart of the age demographic transformation — so that living to 100 becomes a matter of course. How and when we work, retire, learn and consume must reflect the age demographic character of European society. Second, reimagining spending on health innovation as an investment, rather than a cost, in order to change the dynamic of health in old age. From Alzheimer’s to osteoporosis, vision and hearing loss to CVD, our greater vulnerability to infections and communicable disease such as flu, shingles, pneumococcal pneumonia and Covid-19 demand innovative treatments and technologies for healthier ageing and health systems’ sustainability. Third, a complete rethinking of how we care for our parents and grandparents as they age. Elder caregiving at home will be a job creator that marries high touch and high tech, where our living rooms become our hospitals and clinics. European society in the 21st century requires more and different care of the elderly, elevating the job as a central part of healthcare provision.
Michael W Hodin
Chief Executive, Global Coalition on Ageing; Managing Partner, High Lantern Group; Fellow, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, UK
Source: Financial Times