It is today widely documented that the Earth’s population is growing. Demographic trends are revealing: In 1950 the European countries had a population of age 65+ of 45 million; in 1995 the population of age 65+ had more than doubled to 101 million; by 2050 Europe will have 173 million people aged 65+. Eighteen out of the 20 countries in the world with the highest percentages of older people are in Europe. In these countries, between 13.2% and 17.9% of the population are over 65 years old. The UK Census 2001 found that, for the first time, there are more people over the age of 60 than there are children, with the greatest increase in the age group of 85 and over. EU countries are the oldest in the world and are expected to age further in the next decades, in connection to longer life expectancies. Furthermore, other social trends (more women at work, dispersed families) lead to old people who are limited in their homes (smart or not) or institutionalised and left to face social exclusion. The elderly can feel safe there, but the quality of life that is imposed to them is low, further aggravated by cognitive degeneration which follows lack of opportunities to actively participate in the society. LLM comes as a response to these problems, offering the elderly an opportunity to improve their cognitive and physical condition, and to continue feeling an active part of society.
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