The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published recently a research that systematically studied the clinical, biological and psycho-social attributes of the average 85 year old and then cross referenced with subsequent health trajectories as the cohort ages.
One of the first findings was that the average life-expectance in this country is increasing and that means there could be a third more 85 year olds alive by 2020. This information is of high interest to our health authorities who should start preparing the health system and budget for when the time comes.
The study also discovered that 12% had moderate or severe mental decline and 21% suffered from incontinence. More widespread were hearing problems (60%) and high blood pressure (58%).
The online version of the report published on the BMJ, said:
“For planners of services, on the basis of present demographic trends, we can say that in the UK by 2020, the 85-year-old population will increase by 33%, 10% of whom currently require institutional care, 32% of whom have had an outpatient attendance, and 7% an attendance at an accident and emergency department in the past three months.”