Huge progress has been made in the standards of care on offer in Scotland. A measure of those improvements is that more people are living longer than ever before. In addition, it is anticipated that the number of people aged 85 and over in Glasgow will increase by 10% over the next three years.
There are also huge inequalities in Glasgow with healthy life expectancy in North Glasgow nearly eight years less than the national average. The implications of these changes, within the context of the current economic climate, provide a challenge as an increasing number of people living longer will require more services, care and support.
While the constant drive to improve standards will go on, we need to find new ways of delivering services to many more older people and we need to be able to fund these services.
But there’s good news too.
Many Glaswegians are living healthier lives, looking after ourselves and each other longer, and staying active in our communities. Our older citizens are an asset to our communities. People over 65 years of age deliver more care than they receive – acting as unpaid carers, child minders and volunteers.
We therefore need to develop plans so that older people can do as much as possible for themselves with support from us as necessary enabling them to stay safely in their home and communities for as long as possible.