Tough calls on ageing population

First published in Our View by

There is no doubt that one of the biggest challenges our society is facing over the next decade or so is the huge increase in the number of pensioners.

This growing band of elderly people presents a number of problems that must be tackled, including health and social care and in particular, housing. The Telegraph & Argus has, through its With Respect campaign, long fought for the preservation of the dignity of older generations to be a vital part of any policies and plans designed to deal with this issue.

And we urge Bradford Council to push ahead with plans revealed today to create four ‘Extra Care’ homes, which will create 251 beds in four developments that will afford residents a certain amount of support while maintaining their independence.

It is a model that seems to offer a sensible way of dealing with this growing problem, although the figures are a little startling, with this development costing £24m and offering only a fraction of the accommodation that is likely to be needed.

There are currently just under 70,000 people aged 65 or over in the district – recent estimates suggest that will have risen to around 94,000 by 2026, with 6,000 people over the age of 90.

It is wonderful that medical and scientific advances mean we are all living longer, but as these figures show, it is putting an increased strain on public resources at a time of great financial difficulty. But the bottom line is, we owe it the increasingly populous older generation to ensure they live out their lives with as much dignity, independence, and respect as possible.

And that undoubtedly means some very difficult funding decisions having to be made in the near future.

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