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Plans to support elderly

PUBLISHED: 09:50 16 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:11 03 July 2010

HELPING older people to remain happy and healthy in their own homes will ease Norfolk's financial burden from a growing elderly population, according to a new report.

HELPING older people to remain happy and healthy in their own homes will ease Norfolk's financial burden from a growing elderly population, according to a new report.

The county council budget dedicated to caring for older people, which is more than £100m, is likely to increase by about £2m a year for the next few years, in line with the predicted increase in the ageing population.

But it is estimated that within 20 years, people aged 60 and over will make up more than one third of the population of the county - and, as they are expected to be fitter and live longer, it is likely, as other illnesses are prevented or better managed, more will have dementia.

Now the Living Longer, Living Well strategy, which covers 2009 to 2011, is aiming to build on work already being done to ensure the county is ready to meet demand for services, now and in the future.

Dr Graeme Duncan, chairman of the Norfolk Older People's Strategic Partnership Board, said: “The logic is that we are trying to support people to remain independent; if they do not, they fall ill more easily and more completely and then end up in an acute hospital which costs much more.

“A great deal has been achieved over the last three years to transform and modernise services. For example, many At Home Not Alone projects have been set up to support older people to remain living independently at home.

“However, as the number of older people in Norfolk will increase significantly over the next 20 years, it is important that plans are put in place now to make sure we can meet future, as well as current, service needs.”

The Norfolk Older People's Strategic Partnership Board is made up of various partners including the voluntary sector and the police.

Part of its work is to also monitor and review the actions set out in the plan to make sure that agencies and organisations carry out their commitments and make the best possible use of resources.

The plan includes points in four key areas of living well, support and services to be arranged by the person, more specialist help and looking to the future.

The initiative is meant to be for anyone interested in improving support for older people in Norfolk including families, neighbours and carers.

To see a full copy of the report online, visit www.norfolkambition. gov.uk or for a paper copy call Age Concern on 01603 787111.


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