Older people in Suffolk have a good quality of life
As the population of older people in Suffolk increases we want to ensure they can enjoy a good quality of life. It remains a challenge to create an environment that enables older people to be active, engaged and independent in safe, supportive communities that value their experience and contribution.
We know from the Suffolk Joint Strategic Needs Assessment that:
- The number of people living with dementia in Suffolk is expected to double in the next 15 years.
- People who enter old age healthily have a longer healthy life expectancy, free of disability. In Suffolk we know that on average people are likely to develop a long term illness or disability before they reach 65 and most of this is due to long term conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke.
- It is widely recognised that as the proportion of older people increases the current way health and social care services are provided is unlikely to be sustainable. Evidence suggests that choosing a healthy lifestyle is likely to reduce demand on health and social care in the long term and evidence based treatment of conditions such as cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke can contribute to healthier life expectancy.
- Appropriate housing, access to transport and a safe environment can help improve quality of life, independence and promote social inclusion. Evidence suggests that social isolation is a contributing factor in over 60% of preventable illnesses. Voluntary and community groups play a vital role in helping address social isolation across the county. Community-based assessment and support can enable older people to live at home independently and reduce admissions to hospital and nursing homes.
Priorities for action:
- Reduce the impact of frailty on the lives of older people in Suffolk
- Provide a co-ordinated response to the challenges of dementia and depression in older people
- Support carers in Suffolk more effectively
- Ensure Suffolk residents are supported at end of life