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Report warns of "explosion" in number of elderly
7:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
FUTURE pensioners face the misery of failing care and pitiful pensions, a study warns today (Thursday, March 14) – because of the exploding number of old folk.
The number of over-85s in England is set to double within 20 years as people live longer, but society is “woefully underprepared”, it says.
And, in some parts of the region, particularly in North Yorkshire, the elderly population will mushroom by almost 150 per cent.
Now a committee of peers has warned ministers they must act now to prepare Britain for a “greying society” – and prevent a crisis.
Lord Filkin, the committee’s chairman, warned: “As a country, we are not ready for the rapid ageing of our population.
“A big shift in services is essential, so that the many more older people with long-term conditions can be well cared for and supported in their own homes and in the community - and not needlessly end up in hospital.
“And people must be better informed to get a better idea of the income they may get in retirement from their pension savings. They should be able to work later if they wish to do so.”
The report, entitled ‘Ready for Ageing’, used figures from the Office of National Statistics to highlight the areas where the number of people aged 85 will grow the fastest.
They include pockets of North Yorkshire such as Hambleton (up 147.8 per cent), Richmondshire (up 145.5 per cent), Harrogate (up 117.4 per cent) and Craven (up 115.8 per cent).
Parts of the North-East – Stockton-on-Tees (up 111.1 per cent) and County Durham (up 108.4 per cent) – are also expected to record leaps above the national average.
Only Newcastle (up 58.1 per cent) and South Tyneside (up 68.4 per cent) will escape a near-doubling of the ‘grey’ population, it is predicted.
The report calls for:
* Proposals, within 12 months of the 2015 general election, on how “failing” health and social care funding will change to serve an ageing population.
* Urgent action to explain how an expected £54bn NHS ‘funding gap by 2022 will be plugged.
* Measures to make it easier for older people to work longer, to boost their “insufficient savings and pensions”.
* Measures to require financial services companies to tackle “serious defects in pensions”.