Council forced to respond to influx of older people

Herefordshire council has increased spending on older people’s
services by more than 10 per cent this year due to a rapid increase
in the number of over-65s moving to the area to retire,
writes Derren Hayes.

The council is investing £9.6 million into paying for older
people’s services in 2002-03, an increase of almost £1
million from last year, to pay for the increased care costs of the
mushrooming older people population. Education and transport
budgets have been reduced to pay for the extra spending.

The council also expects a 6 per cent lift in its standard
spending assessment next year, linked to delivering better services
for older people.

Herefordshire has an above average population of older people,
and the council expects that over the next 20 years the number of
over-85s will increase by 50 per cent, 75-84 by 35 per cent and
70-74 by 46 per cent.

Currently, one in five nursing home placements are made outside
Herefordshire partly due to the shortage of homes and difficulties
in recruiting staff – the council aims to increase intensive home
care by 25 per cent over the next four years.

Herefordshire councillor Marcelle Lloyd-Hayes said older people
are moving to the picturesque county from afar because of the good
quality of life.

“People are coming to this area from the southeast to retire and
living comfortably off the proceeds of selling property,” she




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