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Theme 2: Enable our older population to live independently and well

Summary :: Our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy :: Theme 2: Enable our older population to live independently and well

The rapid increase that Medway will see in the number of people aged 65+ and 85+ over the next decade is something that should be celebrated. It is in part the result of steady improvements over many years in health care and public health. Many of these new older people will be healthy and strong and able to live independently; however, it is inevitable that there will also be an increase in the number of people who will need health and social care and support. In particular we can expect to see more people who have dementia, and others who become physically frail.

An increase in the number of older people is not a new phenomenon. In 1901 less than 5% of the UK population was over the age of 65 years. Since then there has been a steady increase and as a society we have made many changes during this period. As we go forward further changes are needed to ensure that we are able to provide affordable and high quality care for older people.

The government commissioned an independent body to review the funding system for care and support in England and national policy is awaited. Within this national context the options for how Medway chooses to care for and provide support for older people will also include the core themes of localism and personal responsibility noted above. Many home-owners will seek to stay in their existing homes for as long as they can and will need additional support to do so. There will also be increasing numbers of older people who will need specialist accommodation that mesh support, care and housing provision.

Older people are more likely to have multiple health and social needs which will require an integrated response from local services.