According to a recent report from the Better Care Fund – of which the new Dorset Council is a major stakeholder, the number of older people living in Dorset will continue to grow, adding to increased demand for health and care services
24% of the current population are over retirement age (65 and over) which is greater than the equivalent values for both the South West (21%) and England and Wales (18%). 28,500 people are aged over 85 (4% of the current population);
With regard to physical health, the most common single causes for admission to hospital for individuals aged 65 – 84 years are cancer and circulatory conditions. In the 85+ population the single largest admission cause is circulatory conditions;
With regard to mental health, dementia and depression are the most common mental health disorders of later life. The prevalence of dementia increases with age, affecting 5% of people over the age of 65 and 20% of those over the age of 80;
All of these issues face us at a time when the Conservative Government is drastically cutting the Revenue grant to Dorset.
It is also happening at a time of unprecedented stress on workforce levels – with many EU carers returning home rather than facing the uncertainty of Brexit.
The main thrust of the Dorset Care Plan is an acceptance of the funding cuts and a reliance on providing information to people as to how they can help themselves. Which sounds good in principle, but leaves the elderly with a mass of confusing and self-contradictory information to sort through, and provides no additional real practical help for them.
The elderly are part of our community, our parents and grandparents, they deserve better.