The sight of Mick Jagger jumping around on the Glastonbury stage just a few days short of his 70th birthday was a clear demonstration of the changing demography in the UK. The Stones’ drummer was even older at 72 but he, of course, was sitting down.
Tom Jones is another example of how people are staying younger longer. Aged 73, he looked in good health and at ease on the recent series of The Voice. So yes it’s clear that people do live longer and in better health than they did when Mick first hit the stage 50 years ago and when Tom Jones first sang the Green Green Grass of Home
The number of people living beyond 75 is going to significantly increase and will present a challenge to heathcare. Although it would be great if he could, I think unfortunately Mick is unlikely to be able to repeat his Glastonbury performance in 10 years’ time at the age of 80.
People are living longer but as they age they will be prone to more ill health and will put pressure on current services. We must not miss the chance to prepare for the complexity of care that this group will present to nurses.
Particularly beyond the age of 80, people tend to have raft of interlocking comorbid conditions. Managing and supporting their care often means solving a crossword puzzle of symptoms and issues. This challenge requires skilled staff who have experience and training in older person’s care.
Those responsible for training nurses and other health professionals must guarantee that those caring for our aging population, including our rock stars, are properly prepared and have the range of skills that they need.