Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Age with Confidence this Older People’s Day

Older People’s Day

A new initiative called ‘Age With Confidence’ is being launched by West Sussex County Council to coincide with Older People’s Day this Saturday October 1.

Council Leader Louise Goldsmith is behind the initiative, which aims to help people prepare for old age and to know where to go for information and advice.

She said: “We want to make sure that people are confident in preparing for and living well in old age. We’re speaking to our partner organisations about how we can work together on this important initiative.”

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has already joined forces with the County Council on Age With Confidence.

Dr Mandy Assin, Sussex Partnership’s Clinical Director of Older People’s Mental Health Services in Sussex, said: “Over 13,000 people in West Sussex currently live with dementia and this is predicted to double in the next 30 years. It is essential we do all we can to help local people living with or affected by dementia to fully understand what dementia means and what we can do in Sussex Partnership to assess and manage the illness. We want people to seek help by going to their GPs early in the course of their illness and then be promptly referred to our services so that they receive the best quality evidence based care.”

People are living longer – by 2020 half the population in the UK will be aged 50 or over, and the prevalence of dementia doubles with every five year increase in age. In West Sussex, the number of older people continues to increase at a higher rate than nationally. Age With Confidence will work to ensure that people can adapt to the changes this will bring in society.

Under the initiative, the County Council will:

·          Be at the leading edge of new ways of working to address the impact of an ageing population
·          Work to deliver personalised services and budgets for everyone who needs support
·          Enable families to plan ahead and be aware of services on offer before they need them, such as accommodation, support at home and financial planning
·          Work with local communities, voluntary organisations and other groups to support innovative ways of meeting care needs
·          Support early diagnosis of problems, such as dementia, raising awareness and making sure there is better coordination of services

To mark the start of Age With Confidence, the County Council has launched a survey to find out from residents their views on growing older, how they are preparing and what would help them feel more confident about living well in old age. To find out more, visit the County Council’s website at www.westsussex.gov.uk.

It’s the fifth year that UK Older People’s Day has been celebrated in the UK. The aim is to celebrate the achievements and contributions that older people make to society and the economy, and through this to tackle negative attitudes and outdated stereotypes.

At present West Sussex has an older age structure than England – 21% of the population is aged 65 year or over, compared to 17% in England overall.

Over the last five years the overall population in West Sussex has grown by approximately 4%, for the 85+ age group the increase has been over 15%. An even larger increase (17%) is currently projected in the next five years.