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Life expectancy increasing as health problems mount: Caring for an ageing society
Caring for an ageing society, such as today's, is a challenging venture that will require us to decide - as a community - what care model will achieve the best outcomes.
In this article, we'll start by taking a look at the latest life expectancy research. Then, we'll give our take on the most effective model for caring for an ageing society.
Life expectancy is up, but retirement years spent in 'good health' are falling
The average life expectancy of UK residents is growing, though the rate of increase has slowed dramatically since 2010.
Despite this news, research from the International Longevity Centre indicates that we're spending fewer years of our retirement in 'good health'.
According to the research, people in their 60s and 70s are staving off disability and staying active for longer. However, older people are also living longer with their disabilities, which requires an increased onus on health and social care.
Researchers also noted huge regional differences. In London, 65-year-olds living in Richmond can look forward to 14.5 years of healthy life expectancy. Meanwhile, those in Tower Hamlets can only expect an average of 6.5 years.
Caring for an ageing society that's experiencing these trends will demand a complete overhaul of the care systems we see today. Rather than just expanding current healthcare models, the future we design should be both efficient and match the needs and preferences of older people.
Live-in care is the ideal model for caring for an ageing society
Older people are increasingly choosing live-in care as an alternative to residential care.
Not only does this model enable them to receive an exceptionally high standard of care, their care programme can be built around them as an individual. Live-in care allows older people to:
- Stay in their own homes, surrounded by their partner, pets and treasured possessions
- Keep close to their support network of relatives, friends and community members
- Have control over their daily care, social, nutritional and exercise schedule
- Ensure someone is on hand 24/7 to provide support, companionship and oversight
- Vacate healthcare facilities without undue stress, which could reduce independence further
Live-in care isn't just the preferred option for nine out of ten older people. It could also bring about benefits on a societal level.
A shift towards live-in care could reduce the administrative burden associated with the current residential care model.
The move may help decrease GP visits and hospital admissions by enhancing oversight and preventative care measures. It could also help reduce reliance on secondary care services, such as transportation services and community nurse visits.
We all have a degree of responsibility when it comes to caring for an ageing society. We also have a vested interest in making sure care systems promote independence, dignity and holistic well-being. Live-in care is the most effective model for achieving these goals, and is likely to play a crucial role in the future of social care.
Learn more about how live-in care help older people maintain independence while receiving the standard of support they require. Speak to the friendly team at The Good Care Group.