In 2017 the UK population reached a new high of 66m and it is set to grow.
The projected population surpasses 70m in 2029 and reaches 72.9m by 2041, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) .
ONS data also tells us that one in every five people (18.2 per cent) in 2017 were 65 or older and that’s projected to reach around one in every four people (24 per cent) by 2037.
The number of people aged 85 years and over is expected to increase substantially in the future. In 2017 there were 1.35m people aged 85 and over in England. By 2023 this is projected to reach 1.54m (an increase of 14 per cent) and in 2031 - when ‘baby boomers’ born after World War Two move into this age group - it could reach 2.01m.
So our population is still growing, but we are also living longer.
Provisional data from Public Health England for 2017 indicates life expectancy at birth in England has now increased to 79.6 years for males and 83.2 years for females.
Since the period 2009 to 2011, life expectancy at birth has increased more than healthy life expectancy and therefore the number of years lived in poor health has increased slightly, as has the proportion of life spent in poor health.
Healthy life expectancy at birth (the number of years lived in good health) is now 63.3 years for males and 63.9 years for females (2014 to 2016) in England.
In the period 2014 to 2016, males lived 16.2 years in poor health, while females lived 19.3 years in poor health.
But what do the statistics mean for financial advice?
The number of people reaching a point in their lives where they become unable to fully look after themselves is greater than ever and, in many cases, people will need help and independent advice both on the care they need but also on how to fund it.
Care needs, of course, can take a number of forms depending on the severity of the need and the preferences of the individual. When giving advice, there are many areas to consider and a holistic approach is required.
Where someone’s primary need is healthcare, the NHS is responsible for delivering and funding the care.
However, if the individual is receiving healthcare as part of a wider care package, the NHS will only pay for the nursing care element. For example, if someone is in a nursing home, requiring both nursing care and general care, the NHS in England will generally pay only £158.16 per week.
In Wales the figure is £148.01 per week; in Northern Ireland £100 per week. Scotland offers a more generous £249 per week towards nursing care and general care costs for someone aged 65 or over.