THE number of over 85s in Cheshire West and Chester is expected to increase by 75% over the next 15 years, it has been revealed.
Taken with an overall increase in the number of over 50s of 25%, both higher than the regional average, the borough council believes the change “will place increasing and unaffordable pressure on our services” without doing things differently”. At present 7,800 of the borough’s residents are aged 85+.
The council has a priority to provide improved opportunities for older people to live independently according to its new plan for 2011- 2015.
It wants to ensure that older residents can offer their skills, experience “and energy” to their communities and can exercise choice and control over their own lives.
The council also believes they should be supported if needed at an early stage with the emphasis on preventing problems.
Older people have told the council their wish to retain their independence and choice is a priority. A survey has shown that access to services is a key concern. In response the council says it intends to improve access to information about services to help residents.
The use of personal budgets and direct payments for social care will be accelerated with safeguards to protect the most vulnerable.
All social care cases will be regularly reviewed to ensure peoples’ needs are being met.
Support to enable people to regain skills and prevent deterioration in their health and the need for further services will be increased. Telecare options will also be extended.
The council says it will have succeeded by 2015 if a number of targets have been met including more older people living at home independently, speedier assessments, carers feeling valued and improved access to end of life care.