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Our people are able to maintain their independence as they get older, and are able to access appropriate support when they need it

Why is this National Outcome important?

Providing high quality care and support to an ageing population is a fundamental principle of social justice and is an important hallmark of a caring and compassionate society. Collectively we need to give priority to ensuring that older people receive the care, support and dignity they need and deserve.

This requires us to enhance the role people can play themselves, supported as appropriate to play a fuller part in their own care.

Supporting and caring for older people is not just a health or social work responsibility. We all have a role to play: families, neighbours and communities; providers of services like housing, transport, leisure, community safety, education and arts; and also shops, banks and other commercial enterprises.

What will influence this National Outcome?

The simple increase in the number of older people, suggests an increase in need/demand for formal services. Similarly the increase in very old people who tend to have higher care needs, and in the number of people with dementia which is forecast to double by 2031, are further drivers of additional demand for formal care.

The reducing ratio of working age people to non-working age people creates a tension in a potentially reducing tax base, relative to expenditure on pensions, and expenditure on health and social care services for an ageing population.

Workforce issues suggest there are likely to be fewer people of working age relative to those who we would expect to be retired. We may also see an increase in the proportion of the workforce engaged in providing publicly funded health and care services.

Social structural changes related to the family; more people living alone, geography; more people living far away from relatives and solidarity; less people actively engaged in mutual support, will all reduce the overall capacity for informal care.

What is the Government's role?

We have legislated to integrate health and social care, bringing together planning, resourcing and delivery of care within local systems. Integration enables a coherent focus on the (complex) needs of older people and action to shift the balance of care from residential and institutional settings to home and community settings.

We are promoting the idea that older people are an asset to be valued and engaged as part of civil society, through various policy initiatives, media campaigns and age discrimination legislation.

We are promoting policies intended to provide better support to those who offer informal care through services such as respite; health checks by GPs for carers; training and support resources.

We have put in place significant funding and policy support for the Third Sector as a partner in service delivery and in strategy development.

We are supporting approaches that enable innovative service models to reflect different needs and capabilities both between individuals and groups.

Related Strategic Objectives

Healthier

Safer and Stronger

Smarter

Wealthier and Fairer

Greener

Related National Indicators

down Improve self-assessed general health

l Improve Mental Wellbeing

l Reduce premature mortality

l Improve end of life care

 Improve support for people with care needs

l Reduce emergency admissions to hospital

up Improve the quality of healthcare experience

d Improve people's perceptions about the crime rate in their area

 Improve people's perceptions of their neighbourhood