Charities will play a key role in tackling the problems caused by Britain's ageing population, according to a new report.
The State of Ageing in 2019, published today, says the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to increase by more than 40 per cent within 20 years.
It says a significant proportion are at risk of poverty and ill health and many people currently in their 50s and 60s in particular would not get the quality of life they expected.
The Centre for Ageing Better, a charity that aims to change society to improve later life, produced the 43-page report.
It urges government, businesses and charities to rethink their approaches to helping older people and avoid storing up problems in the future.
The centre says the ageing population and growing pressure on the NHS will make the voluntary sector's contribution even more important.
A spokesman for the centre told Third Sector that the sector's main role would be to connect communities and support vulnerable groups.
He urged voluntary organisations to "take more steps to reduce isolation, connect different groups within communities and help build relationships".
He cited the Big Lunch and Happy City initiatives as examples of voluntary organisations doing this.
The spokesman predicted that the role of charities providing transport in rural areas, as well as unpaid carers, would become even more important.
"The voluntary and community sector is part of the social fabric of communities," he said.
"Given that older people spend more time in communities, charities are therefore essential to helping people age well."
Anna Dixon, chief executive of the centre, said in a statement: "Without radical action today to help people age well, we are storing up problems for the future and leaving millions at risk of poverty and poor health in later life."