Care of the elderly in the UK must adapt if it is going to cope with people living longer in the future, according to Age Concern and Help the Aged
A spokesperson for the charities, which merged earlier this year, pointed out that the NHS will not be able to cope with the added pressure that an ageing population will place it under.
He pointed out medical research must be altered to allow the UK's institutions and the structure of the care system to be able to look after the population.
The spokesperson emphasised that it need not be a negative change to have more people living into their old age.
"Unless we actually get the research and the medical care and the social care right, there is a risk that at the end of life there will also be long periods of dependency," he added.
These comments were made following the release of research by the Academy of Medical Sciences, which indicated that rising life expectancy and low birth rates means that population of the world is ageing.