UK-China Health and Social Challenges Ageing Project (UKCHASCAP)
Population ageing is a global challenge. It is a pressing health and socioeconomic issue not only for high-income countries, but also for low and middle income countries, whose health and social care system is, as of yet, underprepared for the needs of their escalating ageing populations. The UK and China provide examples of contrasting countries which are inadequately placed to address this increasing demographic.
We previously confirmed that dementia incidence in the UK is on a declining trend (2.7% (95% CI) per year) (Ahmadi-Abhari et al., 2017). However, expansion of the size of the older population means that the number of people with dementia is likely to increase until 2040 (Ahmadi-Abhari et al., 2017). Policy reform to support older people is not in place in the UK. The present policy challenge therefore requires the implementation of an effective, equitable long-term care system that is socially and politically accepted.
China’s rapid ageing process is occurring at an earlier stage of economic development than other countries, posing great demands on society, particularly health and social care services. Currently there are 173M people aged 65+ in China, with this figure set to reach 200M by 2050. Relatively few Chinese people (estimate 10M versus 1M in UK with a 65+ population of 11M) have dementia. However, numbers with dementia and age-related disabilities are set to rise due to rapid population ageing. The seismic demographic shift needs to be accommodated across Chinese society, with rapid development of ageing, health and social care policy.