Our role in ageing

Changes in population and increased life expectancy have led to an increase in the numbers of older people in the North East. The number of young people has stabilised and in some places decreased. This change is happening more quickly here than in any other part of England.

These population changes are expected to continue for the foreseeable future and we need to reassess the place of older people in our society. How do we move from a debate that has focused on population ageing as a negative issue, a ‘burden' to be managed, to recognising the constructive and positive contribution older people make?

North East councils are working with partners including older people groups on addressing and managing this and have signed up to the North East Charter for Changing Age. This sets out ambitions and a commitment to ensure that people of all ages are encouraged to live their lives to the fullest.

Amongst the issues addressed in the charter are:

  • Recognising that increasing life spans is a great achievement which offers opportunities for economic benefit;
  • the need for equality across the spectrum of life and to have a better understanding of what this means;
  • understanding and harnessing the skills and experience that older people can offer to building a better North East; and
  • expanding and making better use of the scientific knowledge we have and to apply this in adapting our infrastructure to make the North East a better place for older people to live and visit.

ANEC has also worked with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services North East to establish a new lead member network on adult social care. This provides an opportunity for elected members with a responsibility in adult social care to come together to learn about the latest policy and the delivery of good practise. The network has also responded positively to the signing of the North East Charter for Changing Age and is looking to promote and develop work based on this.

Other issues which have been discussed through the network include:

  • sector led improvement
  • safeguarding
  • NHS transition (Clinical Commissioning Groups and Public Heath)
  • health and wellbeing boards

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