WITH a life expectancy above the national average, the opportunity for a longer, more active and fulfilled life is there for the taking for the people of Worcestershire.
The average life expectancy in Worcestershire is 83.9 years for women and 79.9 years for men.
However, the average healthy life expectancy, which is closely linked to lifestyle factors, is 67.2 years for women and 65.7 years for men.
With an ageing population, this gap highlights the financial pressure on adult social care which is one of the UK’s biggest challenges, with the money invested in this area nationally increasing year-on-year.
Worcestershire is no exception and continues to follow the national trend, with nearly £140million allocated from this year’s county council budget to help meet the ever-rising demand for adult social care – more than 40 per cent of the Council’s annual budget.
There are currently around 1,400 people across the county who receive either nursing or residential care funded by Worcestershire County Council, at an average cost of £655 per week.
It is estimated that a further 1,300 residents fund this care themselves.
The authority is working with Professor Peter Gore to help empower social care staff and individuals and to provide tailored help and support to clients, to ensure they remain independent for longer.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care, said: “This new approach will help staff and their clients work together to tailor care and support plans to their individual circumstances, and plan for their current and future needs, whether this is in a care facility or at home with support.”
Professor Gore’s research found measurable links between positive attitude and maintaining flexibility, endurance and strength.
This has led to the development of the LifeCurveTM app, which measures a person’s prolonged ability to do activities of daily living independently, including bathing, dressing, cooking, walking, shopping and using steps.
Coun Hardman, alongside social care practitioners, is hosting tailored engagement events for residents in Bromsgrove and Redditch.
These are at Bromsgrove market on June 14/21 and the Kingfisher Shopping Centre in Redditch on July 12 and Tesco Extra Redditch on July 26, all four sessions running from 10am to 2pm.