Older people’s services need shakeup as budgets shrink

Services for older people need to be radically rethought if the needs of an ageing population are to be balanced with budget cuts, campaigners said today.

Age UK is calling on local authorities to start doing things differently, involving older people in decision making, offering more preventative services and working collaboratively to provide low-cost and effective services.

Belinda Wadsworth, strategy adviser for Age UK, said: ‘More devolved powers, tighter budgets and the cost of an ageing society are set to present local leaders with a formidable challenge. Rising to it and ensuring quality services for people in later life will require bold and brave leadership.’

Among the other recommendations in Age UK’s manifesto Local action for later life are: protecting social care provision from spending cuts; redeploying local NHS resources towards public health, prevention, community health care and social care; maximising benefit take-up; and tackling fuel poverty.

The manifesto will be launched at the Local Government Association’s conference in Bournemouth later this week.