- Friday, 08 June 2012
The subject of ageing is becoming more important as people are living longer - the number of centenarians has increased from 2,500 to over 12,500 in the last 30 years, and is predicted to rise to 160,000 over the next 30. But what does the evidence say about what our older lives will be like? Will we grow old with dignity or experience a sad decline?
Two experts on ageing will talk about the lives we can expect when we get older, at a public lecture at the British Library Conference Centre in London on Tuesday 12 June. The BBC journalist and presenter Fi Glover will chair the event, entitled ‘Growing old: something to fear or celebrate?’, from 6-30pm-8pm.
Speakers include Mary Gilhooly, Professor of Gerontology at Brunel University, who will talk on ‘Retire and die: is this what the old owe the young?,’ and Chris Phillipson, Professor of Applied Social Studies and Social Gerontology at the University of Keele, who will discuss 'Reinventing ageing for the 21st Century: new institutions and solidarities'. Each speaker will debate the demographics of ageing and the quality of life available to older people, followed by an audience discussion of the issues.
This event is part of a series of public talks jointly organised by the British Library’s social sciences team and the Academy of Social Sciences. The series, entitled ‘Myths and Realities’, explores how social science expertise can help people understand the world around us. The event on Tuesday is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and has an entrance fee of £7-50, or £5 for concessions.
“Advances in nutrition, medical treatment and housing mean that we are living longer but many people are afraid of the quality of life they will have when they grow old,” said Ceridwen Roberts - spokeswoman for the Academy of Social Science. “This event is important in giving them the facts they need to understand what they can expect as they age.”
The Curator of Social Science at the British Library, Polly Russell, said: “The British Library has a vast collection of statistical, scientific and social materials which tell us how attitudes to ageing changed over time, including many hundreds of interviews with older people about their own feelings towards ageing and retirement. We look forward to exploring these issues in depth with the speakers at the Myths and Realities event, and investigating what our own futures might look like.”
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