Under pressure: the optometric workforce and an ageing population

5 May 2023
Spring 2023

In the third part of our series on ageing, Anna Scott discovers how older populations with poor eye health affect supply and demand in the optometry profession.

The UK population is living longer. The number of people aged 65 and over will increase by two million in the next 10 years to 22% of the population (Centre for Ageing Better, 2022 ). But they are not all ageing well. 

The number of years we can expect to spend in good health without a disabling illness continues to decline – 62.0 years for men and 60.7 years for women in 2018-20, down by 0.7 and 1.2 years from 2015-17 (Office for National Statistics, 2022 ). 

“Two-thirds of people in their 50s and 60s have a long-term health condition,” says Aideen Young, Senior Evidence Manager for Research, Impact and Voice at the Centre for Ageing Better. “The number of people living with disability is growing, and healthy life expectancy is falling.”

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