Pensive Old Man:
[By Chefranden on flickr]
This article has just appeared in the "The Guardian" newspaper (Wednesday 22nd October 2008).
The nation needs to invest much more in the ability of older people to make best use of their brains, according to a new report from a government thinktank.
Foresight, the government unit charged with thinking strategically for the future, said it was vital to exploit the "mental capital" of mature adults. However, little money has gone into anything other than leisure classes, with scant evidence of how useful they are.
Addressing dementia should be a priority for government, declares Foresight's latest report, distilled from more than 100 expert submissions. "Treating dementia costs the UK £17bn a year – this is set to rise to £50 billion a year within 30 years," it says.
By 2071 the numbers of people aged over 80 are expected to more than treble to 9.5 million, while there could be twice as many over 65s (21 million) as now.
Action is needed now to protect their prosperity and physical and psychological health, according to the report. An appetite for lifelong learning needs to be developed among the very young.
Full article ... hereThere is real potential for chess, and other mind sports, to help with maintaining the cognitive health of our increasingly ageing population. Also, our older chess players can contribute through the increased promotion of junior chess in schools and local chess clubs.