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Number of people with long-term health conditions expected to rise to 7 million

12th October 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Age UK has warned that even though people are living longer than before, they are not necessarily living healthier lives, which may cause problems in the future due to the ageing population. The charity has estimated that six million people aged 60 and over in England now live with at least two long-term health conditions, which is expected to rise to seven million come 2020.

It is thought that a woman aged 65 can expect to live another 20.8 years, while a man can expect to live another 18.2, but only 11 of these years are likely to be spent in good health. Statistics suggest that 40 per cent of people over the age of 65 have health problems that limit their daily activities or quality of life, although there are solutions for this, for example home adaptations such as walk-in showers, or organised care visits.

NHS could become tied with long-term care rather than urgent or acute health needs

The kinds of long-term conditions older people are being diagnosed with include frailty and dementia, which could potentially stop those affected from living independently. Without the necessary help, the number of people unable to live at home could rise and will put a strain on the NHS and other services. This issue of support will have to be addressed in order to cater for the rising number of patients with long-term conditions.

Charity director for Age UK, Caroline Abrahams, told Homecare: “Our NHS and care services need to be fit for purpose, providing the right support that is focused on helping people stay well and independent in later life. But we must go further by bringing together services and support across local areas to ensure every older person can live in a safe, supportive age-friendly community that values their contribution.”

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) report on ‘Ageing and Health’ has highlighted that there needs to be a better alignment of healthcare systems, further development of long-term care systems and the creation of age friendly environments.

Image Credit: Garry Knight (flickr.com)