Demographics of growing older.
Interestingly I have been thinking about this of late with my field of work we often forget there are a growing number of ‘younger’ old people who are relatively fit and healthy contributing to society the ‘sandwich carers’ possibly looking after grand children , elderly parents and maybe volunteering.
It is important that this section of society is kept as big as possible and we promote active aging. We know that we also have a growing number of older people with long term health conditions and chronic conditions which we probably under estimate as most people have at least two things wrong with them.
Seven out of every ten pounds spent in health care system goes on long term conditions and 70% of in-patient hospital days are as the result of patients’ with long term conditions it is therefore really important that we care more effectively for people closer to home.
If we consider individuals suffering from dementia who will also be coping with one or more long term conditions it is vital wherever possible we care effectively for them close to home. Hospital admission is stressful for any of us but for those suffering from dementia and their relatives it can be a very difficult time unless there is extra support.
We need to support the segment of the population which often makes the most intensive demands on Health and Social care through focused intervention to target those most at risk of hospital admission.
Finally we need to support high quality end of life care which raise a whole set of issues at the interface between health and social care needs.
Inevitably all of the above will be dependent on funding and national fiscal constraints. However it is so important that we not only talk the language of business but remember the language of care.