Across Scotland, people are living longer, and remaining healthier into old age. Only a generation ago, the average Scottish life expectancy was 69 years for men and 75 years for women, but by 2033 this is projected to rise to 81 years for men and 85 years for women.
In general this is good news of course, but it can also bring its share of issues. As a society, we have to plan ahead now to ensure that we have the health services and the infrastructure in place to meet the needs of an ageing population. The Scottish Government well recognise this; they recently stated that:
“We all need to recognise that the way the population is changing means we cannot simply stand still (…and so…) Scotland needs to make sure we can provide services that work for older people and that the country can afford.”
Over the past few years, the Government has consulted widely and has looked at how health and care services can continue to be delivered – and improved - for Scotland’s older people over the next twenty years.
The consensus that has emerged is that any new approach to care for our older people should focus on preventative care and community involvement.
There is also a recognition that people need to learn how to look after their own health and loosen their dependence upon institutional care. And that new ways need to be explored to let people stay active and engaged within their own communities.
Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector, as a key partner in Glasgow’s Third Sector Interface, has been involved in the last year in progressing a major Scottish Government initiative called Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP). Our main role is to ensure the meaningful involvement of the third sector in RCOP and to research the best ways that the sector can contribute to its plans.
Thus, in March 2011, along with GCC Social Work Dept, NHS GG&C & Scottish Care (for the independent sector), we signed-off a Change Plan for Glasgow. This four year plan aims to shift the balance of care from acute and institutional settings to community based and preventative approaches.
And in May 2011 a Third Sector Reference Group was established as a sub group of the Third Sector Executive Committee (TSEC), in order to drive forward our contribution to RCOP. This Reference Group is chaired by GCVS and comprises a range of key partners who are important to reshaping care for older people and reports bi-monthly to the TSEC and the RCOP Strategy Group.
All change fund documents, minutes agenda and Project initiation document can be found on the Communities of Practice website, this is the central platform for sharing information across partners involved in the Reshaping Care agenda in Glasgow.
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