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Edwards S, Partington D
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The UK has an ageing population. People are living longer, while the proportion of people aged 65 and over is projected to increase from 16 per cent in 2008, to 23 per cent by 2033. As the population ages the likelihood of impairment rises. Some 10m people are affected by some kind of disability and it’s important to note that there are 20m people aged over 50 in the UK. The issue is not confned to the UK. In Europe the average life expectancy of a man is 75.8 years and for women 82 years. Similar fgures can be found for the USA, where male life expect-ancy is 75.6 years, and for females it is 80.8 years. Japan currently leads the UN Life Expectancy list, where men can expect to live 79.0 years and women 86.1 years.One of the key challenges for the 21st century is to ensure the continuity of lifestyle for Persons with Reduced Mobility, for two reasons: frstly, personal social inclusion and thus wellbeing, and secondly because active Persons with Reduced Mobility are benefcial for the economy and for reducing healthcare provision. For both reasons mobility is key, where everyone, including Persons with Reduced Mobility, has the opportunity to travel. This is a challenge to service providers and technology developers, a challenge that must also be met to comply with anti-discriminatory legislation.
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