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Solutions shared to an ageing population

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Solutions shared to an ageing population

AN AGEING population in the Esk Valley is the focus of a new project aimed at planning services for older adults and their carers.

Service providers from across the statutory, independent and third sector gathered in the Buccleuch Centre Langholm last week to launch the Esk Valley Project.
Gary Sheenan, locality manager for the Health and Social Care Partnership in Annandale & Eskdale, said: “A wide range of service providers came together to share their actual experiences of supporting older adults in Esk Valley.
“They were able to highlight the key challenges but were also very keen to put forward and more importantly support a number of solutions.”
The Esk Valley Project aims to gather evidence to support planning of services, gathered through positive engagement with the local community.
Data for the DG13 and DG14 postcodes reveals that 26.7 per cent of the population are aged over 65 compared to an average across the region of 23.3 per cent.
And by 2037 the actual number of people aged over 65 is expected to increase by 412 to 1432.
Mr Sheenan highlighted particular challenges which will become a focus in the months and years to come.
A chance during the event to identify potential solutions included strong support for the development of a local hub which would bring together all of the key service providers in one place.
Improved access and take-up of telecare and development of extra care and very sheltered housing was also seen as key to reducing admissions to care homes.
An expansion of renablement services was also highlighted as a way to reduce time spent in hospital and support more people to remain in their own homes longer.
Gary Sheenan said: “The Esk Valley Project is really important and there is a clear commitment to deliver change in how older adults are supported, within the resources available in the future.
“The general public will have opportunities to have their say during a number of events to be publicised later in the summer.”

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