Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Living Longer, Ageing Well?

The fact that we have an ageing population has been well established and is rightly something we should be celebrating and embracing fully. The often uneasy elephant in the room is the simple truth that services aren’t geared up to serve an ageing population in the same way as they do at the moment. 

Information is readily available which reflects the increasing life expectancies people can expect to experience in the coming decades and beyond. Relating to Healthy Life Expectancy, the Office for National Statistics reports that boys born in Wales between 2008 and 2010, who are expected to live to the age of 77.5, are estimated to spend 63 years in good health. Similarly, girls born in Wales between 2008 and 2012 can expect to live 63 of their estimated 81.7 years of life in good health. So this should make up a key part of our thinking now as well as considering the impacts on future generations living well in to their 80s and 90s.
We’re left with a situation whereby an increasing amount of people will require care services of some sort. It is vital that we seize the opportunity (as many are already doing) to really listen to older people and work collaboratively to provide services that can serve a number of their central needs from health and housing to education and transport.
Working with this holistic mentality to provision will go some way towards creating the opportunity for the latter years of a person’s lifetime to be some of the most rewarding, fulfilling and enriching.  

Matt Kennedy
Policy Officer: Care, Support and Community Health
CHC Group

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