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Author: Age NI
Published on 06 July 2012 04:00 PM

Commenting on part two of BBC One’s When I Get Older documentary series, Anne O’Reilly, Age NI Chief Executive said, ‘The programme has undoubtedly raised awareness of the care challenges we all face today and in the future.

By 2021 the number of people aged 85 and over in NI is projected to increase by 67%. The cost of treating older people is expected to increase by 30% over the next ten years.'

'The social care system as it stands cannot cope. However, social care is the lynchpin – if we get it right, everything else falls into place.  We believe getting it right means a system that recognises the rights, aspirations and diversity of us all, based on the right to live with dignity, independence, security and choice.  This means valuing older people and the choices they make about the care they want and receive.  It also means properly valuing the people who deliver that care.'

She continued, 'Home should be the hub of care – that’s where older people tell us they want to be. A little bit of help can enable people to remain at home for longer and reduce admissions to, and stays in hospital.  For every £1 spent on prevention, hospitals save £1.20 in emergency beds.  With a more focused lens on prevention, healthy ageing and independence, we can face the challenges of our ageing population without fear.

'The Compton Report (Transforming Your Care) provides an opportunity to reshape services for older people, ensuring that home is the hub of care and putting the individual at the centre. The forthcoming discussion paper from the DHSSPS will be the vehicle for the long awaited policy and legislative change that we need for a fundamental review of social care.  It is of vital and urgent importance that we use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve our vision of dignity, independence and choice.'

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575