Ageing Unequally

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the UK the population is ageing and inequalities in both health and wealth are growing. Those living in the most affluent areas live disability-free for 15 years longer than their poorest counterparts, thus health disparities are expressed most profoundly in later life. Health inequalities in later life can be understood to reflect social advantage and disadvantage accumulated over the life course. Consequently, when looking to address health inequalities in older populations, practitioners often justifiably feel overwhelmed. This chapter argues for a focus on person-centred care for older people which actively considers the cumulative and intersecting disadvantages experienced over the life course. Importantly, it is suggested that in order to close the gap in health in later life, health care professionals must be advocates beyond the clinic.

This chapter explores further:

An overview of unequal ageing and the domains across which social disadvantage operates.

The dominant concept of frailty; the burden of frailty is distributed unevenly amongst the population, with poorer groups becoming frailer at younger ages and experiencing a faster decline once frail.

The issue of unequal ageing and how to challenge this by suggesting strategies health care professionals might employ when looking to close the gap in health inequalities.

Practical suggestions on how to address unequal ageing within an often restrictive political climate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTackling Causes and Consequences of Health Inequalities
Subtitle of host publicationA Practical Guide
EditorsJames Matheson, John Patterson, Laura Neilson
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781351013918
ISBN (Print)9781138499881, 9781138499867
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020


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