“The number of people over 65 is projected to increase by 34 per cent (nearly 300,000) to reach 1.17 million by 2031. The over 90s are expected to almost double in number, to 96,000, as medical advances, improvements in lifestyles and new technologies support improved life expectancies.”
(London Plan, July 2011)
An ageing population has all sorts of consequences for health services and healthy living. Elderly people value their independence and their aspiration is to remain fit and healthy for as long as possible.
For the health service, a major issue is that the costs per head of treating elderly patients rises significantly in later years and a key aspiration for health planning is to ensure that those years of extra life are in good health.
The benefits of planning neighbourhoods and homes with an ageing population in mind have been specifically recognised through a variety of initiatives such as Lifetime Neighbourhoods and Lifetime Homes – see Lifetime Neighbourhoods, DCLG, Dec 2011
At the same time, provision needs to be made in appropriate community settings to meet changing health and social care needs.
HUDU can provide advice and guidance on the health impacts of an ageing population as well as advice and guidance on meeting housing and other needs – see Our Services.