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As the Early Action Taskforce, led by Community Links, launches its new publication Looking Forward to Later Life, major children’s and youth charities have urged the government to rethink its approach to the UK’s ageing society.  The signatories to a joint letter published in the Guardian argue that our experience in youth and middle age determines well-being in later life and that it is “too late” to wait until we are old to tackle the challenges facing older people.


The letter says: “One in three babies born today will reach 100 years old…To thrive in old age they will need a supportive childhood, a great education, a well-paid career, opportunities to contribute to their communities, secure savings, a healthy lifestyle throughout life, access to good support and social networks.”


The Chair of the Early Action Task Force, David Robinson, said: “Why wait for trouble when we could prevent it? Taking action in youth and middle age will yield a triple dividend – thriving old age in which we cost the state less and contribute more.


Recommendations in the report include abolishing age-related benefits which ‘reinforce stereotypes’ about ageing, tackling age-related discrimination and redesigning public space to better accommodate older people.