Thursday, 5 July 2012

Preparing for an ageing population

My Cabinet colleagues and I discussed the implications of an increasing elderly population at our quarterly public Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

We received a report on ‘Preparing for an Ageing Population’, which has been developed by a Councillors ‘Task and Finish Group’, chaired by Graham Tyler who is the Deputy Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services.

West Sussex has an ageing population which is set to increase, so it is really important to look at future demands and needs over the next 20 years, so that we can ensure the County Council is able to meet those requirements.

This is not exclusively about Social Services. It is very much a holistic approach looking at how we deliver all services in order that they are age-friendly. This includes early intervention and preventative measures as well as supporting people to live independent lives.

It is new territory for the County Council and involves working closely with our partners such as District and Borough Councils, the NHS and Sussex Police so we ensure West Sussex is a good place to ‘Age With Confidence’.

An important focus is encouraging younger members of our community to start planning now and preparing for their future.

This is a broad and fascinating subject and there were several comments during our meeting about negative stereotyping of older people.

We know that there are a lot of very active people in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s in our county who are living full and active lives. They play very important roles in the community from volunteering to caring, and are some of our unsung heroes in West Sussex. Many of these people are inspirational in what they do and achieve, and are fine examples of ageing with confidence in West Sussex.

Find out more about our ‘Age With Confidence’ initiative.

Best wishes,

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