The call by Mario Draghi and Emmanuel Macron for a new growth strategy during France’s EU Presidency should be guided by three principles that are in line with their point about “demographic evolutions that are changing the structure of our societies” (OpinionDecember 24).
First, there must be an unchanging commitment to the “silver economy” that must be at the heart of the age-demographic transformation – so that life up to 100 becomes a matter of course. How and when we work, retire, learn and consume must reflect the age demographic character of European society.
Second, reimagining spending on health innovation as an investment, rather than a cost, to change the dynamics of health with age.
From Alzheimer’s to osteoporosis, vision and hearing loss to CVD, our greater vulnerability to infections and communicable diseases such as influenza, shingles, pneumonia and Covid-19 require innovative treatments and technologies for healthier aging and the sustainability of health systems.
Third, a complete rethinking of how we care for our parents and grandparents as they grow older. Elderly care at home will be a job creator who marries high touch and high technology, where our lounges become our hospitals and clinics.
European society in the 21st century demands more and more care for the elderly, which increases work as a central part of health care provision.
Michael W Hodin
CEO, Global Coalition on Aging; Managing Partner, High Lantern Group; Fellow, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, UK