Older people: key points
- Scotland’s population, like that of the UK, is ageing.
- Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy are increasing for both men and women, but so is the length of time spent in ill-health.
- Increasing life expectancy and years spent in ill-health mean that the proportion of the population dependent on carers is increasing.
- The prevalence and incidence of most health conditions rises with increasing age (e.g. cancer, coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes).
- Causes of death change with increasing age. Cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease cause a higher proportion of mortality in older people than in younger people.
- Pensioner poverty, a key determinant of ill-health and life expectancy, has decreased overall in the last two decades but has changed little in the last 5 years.
- Healthcare associated infections are a particular health risk for older people since they have higher hospital admission rates
- Dementia is more common in older people and, with an aging population, we are likely to see an upward trend in the number of people with dementia
- This last major update of this section was completed in June 2016.
- The next major update is due to be carried out by end June 2017.
Page last updated: 16 June 2016