Social Care Reform in Northern Ireland

Older people campaigning

Social care is undergoing significant and substantial change due to the Transforming Your Care report and Who Cares: The Future of Adult Social Care and Support in Northern Ireland by the DHSSPS.

Age NI believes that our social care system is broken and that a new revised system is long overdue. The current system is no longer sustainable or capable of meeting the needs of older people today or in the future.

There is no doubt that demographic shifts bring economic and social challenges not least for health and social care policy. Older people in Northern Ireland make up 16.7% of the population and by 2031, it is expected that the percentage of older people will increase to 28%. By 2021, it is projected that there will be more than 93,000 people over the age of eighty in Northern Ireland, a 35% increase from 2011, accounting for 5% of the population.

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But while life expectancy has increased, it is not clear that life without disability and ill health has increased to the same extent. Therefore, a growing number of older people may be living longer with conditions that can seriously reduce their quality of life, such as arthritis, the effects of a stroke or dementia. Current trends such as obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases, left unchecked will also increase the need for care. Their reliance on health and social care to maintain their independence with appropriate services will become paramount.

Next page: Age NI’s Vision of Social Care

Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

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    We deliver care services, provide advice and advocacy, fundraise and influence our decision-makers to improve later life for us all.

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