Every day, every single one of us is growing a little bit older. We can try to prevent ageing but can never really escape from it. Along with the things you can see like wrinkles and grey hairs there are changes to your body that are less visible that happen to your brain, your heart, your muscles and every other part of you as you age.
People live longer now than ever before and there are fewer babies being born in countries like the UK than there were years ago. But, babies born today can expect to live about 30 years longer than children born in 1901. This means that in 2051, when you are about 65, a quarter of the population will be older than you. That’s a lot of old people! This overall change in the age of the population will create lots of new challenges from the design of our public spaces to the kind of furniture we use and medicines we take to keep healthy.
The scientists in the Healthy Ageing Zone are investigating different aspects of ageing and might influence how well you age. Some study genetics to look for genes that affect thinking ability, others look at why brain cells die in people who have Parkinson’s Disease or how what a mum eats when she is pregnant can influence her baby’s health in the future. There are so many different aspects of health and wellbeing that can have an effect later that there is a lot to investigate!
Scientists working in the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Programme are trying to solve these challenges. They work together with experts from different fields to try to find ways to help us all live longer lives that are happier and healthier than they might be if we don’t think ahead!