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Ageing societies: challenges and opportunities.

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This report contextualises the findings of the Bupa Health Pulse 2010 international healthcare survey around the theme of 'ageing societies'. It summarises some of the most important evidence about the ageing process across the world, and discusses some of the key policy challenges that ageing presents – looking particularly at the capacity for societies to provide high quality support for their older people in the future. Although the report focuses on the 12 countries covered by the Bupa Health Pulse study (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, UK, USA), the patterns described are common to a much larger number of countries, and the report’s main implications are therefore applicable more broadly. While – due to the breadth of the topic and the number of countries surveyed – the report cannot provide an exhaustive treatment of all of the questions linked to the ageing process, it provides an overview of some of the most important issues about the ageing process across the world. The Bupa Health Pulse 2010 healthcare study surveyed 12,262 people across 12 different countries to investigate the key healthcare areas of Ageing, Chronic Disease and Health & Wellbeing. This report refers only to the first area – Ageing. Further information about the study can be found at This report is structured around three main parts. The first examines the question of the ageing process in different societies across the globe, and what it means in terms of: increases in the older population of different countries; changes in the balance between young and old in society; and increases in the number of people with health problems and, therefore, in the levels of demand for care services. The second part of the report examines the question of the support system required to look after older people in need of care, including the following issues: the sharing of caring and funding responsibilities between the state and private individuals; the need for societies across the globe to ensure that resources are in place to look after the growing number of older people in need of support; and the levels of support provided to older people in need. The last section of the report summarises the key policy implications of the evidence examined.

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