The government has announced a new £300 million fund to support the 10 million Brits who are expected to live to 100.
Business secretary Greg Clark said his department’s industrial strategy will see £210m spent on early diagnosis and medicine, while £98m will be spent on a ‘healthy aging programme’ to help people stay in their own homes for longer as they get older.
The scheme will also see half a million volunteers have their genetic make-up examined to help develop advanced medical technologies and treatments, a new £40m dementia research hub in London and several regional centres of excellence which will work on finding cures for diseases.
“Through our industrial strategy we will not only boost innovation and productivity across the UK, but we will also ensure that this government changes people’s lives for the better,” Clark said.
“We are investing over £300 million into developing the treatments of the future, in new technologies that will revolutionise the way we age and provide everyone with the best possible chance to grow old with dignity in their own home.
“By 2020 we want to be the best country in the world for dementia care and research and today’s announcement is a vitally important step on that journey.”
There are currently around 15,000 100-year-olds in the UK, but more than 10 million currently living can expect to reach the milestone.
Caroline Dinenage, minister for care, said: “As a society we are living longer – a child born today can expect to live to 100 years – but now we must seize the opportunity to improve the quality of lives lived longer.
“With an increasingly ageing population we must transform the way we think about our work, our housing, our health our finances and our communities.
“These investments will not only help in our aims to make this the best country in the world to live with dementia but provide a revolutionary vital boost to develop and scale up products and services of the future, ensuring everyone can age well and live more independently throughout their lives.”
The new dementia hub will be developed at University College London and will include a new building for research and development alongside existing neurology clinics.
Dr Rob Buckle, chief science officer at the Medical Research Council said it would bring “tremendous benefits” to sufferers and their families.