Surrey County Council sets out its vision for the care and living of the older generation by 2030. In 2021/2022 Adult Social Care in Surrey spent £506 million to support older people. This money helped over 5,600 older people and their unpaid carers. Money was also spent with voluntary organisations that support people in their community too. Adult Social Care also ensures services for information, advice and guidance are available to help people understand their care options and to make good care-related decisions.
The county of Surrey has a population which is getting older with people living longer than in other parts of the country. These changes mean that many more people are likely to be living alone, without support from their family. By 2030, the number of people aged 75+ predicted to be living alone will have increased by 27%. National reporting states that the number of unpaid carers 65 years old and over will increase by 17% from 2016 to 2025.
Dementia is most common amongst older people and in Surrey it is estimated that between 2020 and 2030 the overall number of people with dementia could increase by 28%, from 17,700 to 22,672.
In building the 2030 strategy SCC stated “We spoke to over 750 people living in Surrey. We worked with many diverse groups of Surrey residents of all ages including unpaid carers, care providers, partners, and colleagues. This took seven months and included workshops and surveys. We wanted to know what works well, what does not work well, what could be improved and what is important to our residents.”
The plan sets out all the ways SCC, working with its partners in the NHS, care sector and districts and boroughs, will support people to live and age well in Surrey over the next decade. At the heart of the plan is a commitment to improving opportunities and care choices in local communities so that older people can be as active and independent as they wish.
The council engaged with residents and their families, as well as staff and partners, to draw up the strategy – and is now seeking input to help shape how it’s put into practice.
The plan is centred around three priorities. They are:
- Prevention – supporting people to lead healthy and independent lives in their local communities for as long as possible
- Living independently – enabling people to live in their own homes with care and support tailored to their strengths, including through planned new extra care housing
- Care homes – making sure that Surrey can offer the right mix of high quality care homes for those who need them
Further details can be found in the summary version of the plan at surreycc.gov.uk/livingwellinlaterlife.
Working with partners, including the NHS in Surrey Heartlands and Frimley, as well as care providers and voluntary organisations across the county, the council has already achieved some key milestones in its plan.
- signing a new contract for home care services so that people receive even better care in their own homes
- enhancing its reablement service for people needing short-term care, such as after a hospital stay, through linking with specialist care workers
- carrying out in-depth planning to help SCC and its partners meet the growing need for care home places catering for complex and challenging needs
The council’s keen to continue to gather residents’ and partners’ input as it works towards meeting the commitments in the plan. There will be opportunities to take part in workshops and surveys.
Anyone who has an interest in shaping services for older people can sign up via the web page or by calling 0300 200 1005, SMS (for the deaf or hard of hearing) 07527 182 861, text relay 18001 0300 200 1005 or BSL video relay.
Mark Nuti, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “Our ambition here in Surrey is that no one is left behind – we’re committed to helping those who need us most, and improving quality of life for everyone. We want older people to be able to lead independent and active lives for as long as possible in their own homes and communities and, if they need extra support, to receive tailored and dedicated care. Our Living Well in Later Life plan sets out how we will continue to modernise our services and work with our partners over the rest of the decade to enhance the lives of older people in Surrey. If you have an interest in shaping services for older people, please come forward and help us put our plan into practice.”
Additional reporting from Surrey County Council news service.