2. Literature Review

The ageing population is one of the key drivers for change in health and social care sector organisations (Christie Commission, 2011) and one that has been predicated to have significant impact in the developed world (Macunovich, 1999).  Considerable statistical data has provided the basis for many organisations (World Health Organisation, International Monetary Fund, Help Age International, and United Nations) to write extensively about the resulting key social, political and economic consequences. The challenges faced by the health and social care sector today, however, are not simply based on increased demand. Although the ageing population remains a key factor in this debate, it cannot be considered solely in isolation and deliberation of a number of other associated matters are required to fully understand the issue. This chapter provides a context for the remainder of this dissertation by considering: (i) the reasons behind the ageing population through a historical lens; (ii) the current economic climate and the financial implications of an ageing population, and; (iii) the strategies and management of living longer.

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