Europe faces a demographic challenge caused by an ageing population and falling birth rates. This is putting straining on healthcare systems, which require the well and working to contribute to social systems, and on the economy, which is becoming increasingly dependent on older workers.
A particular challenge is that posed by degenerative conditions and diseases of ageing, many of which can be challenging to treat, and can prevent otherwise healthy individuals from working and contributing fully to society. These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, incontinence, degenerative bone and joint conditions, and eye care. All of these are chronic conditions, which are most often linked to age and potentially debilitating. Almost certainly, without effective intervention and treatment, many sufferers will find themselves unable to work and even be socially isolated.
Advances in medical technology can now offer solutions to managing these conditions and minimising their impact on quality of life. With appropriate support, large numbers of citizens who would previously have been excluded from work and social interaction can live productive, normal or close to normal lives.