Number of over 65s in Bracknell set to double
Cllr Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing at Bracknell Forest Council.
THE number of elderly people living in Bracknell Forest is set to almost double by 2030.
A Parliamentary report predicts 26,300 over 65s will be living in the borough in 2030, compared with 14,300 in 2010.
The figure would be the fourth highest increase in the country. The number of people over 85 would more than double in that time.
But a leading councillor says Bracknell Forest Council's long-term budget anticipated the 83% rise in over 65s and would be able to cope with the extra demand for its services.
Cllr Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing, said the figures proved that new housing in the borough is essential.
He said: "The bad news for people opposing new housing is it will need to be built. The older population are not moving out of their houses. People want to stay at home, live at home and die at home. They don't want to be put in care homes.
"One of the things we have been doing is looking how we can look after people in their own homes. We're working closely with Bracknell Forest Homes and other recognised providers of affordable homes to make sure they're building lifetime homes."
He added the council is budgeting to provide care for people living in their own homes and said more money would be set aside to care for dementia sufferers.
He added plans to build a new residential village behind Garth Hill College by 2015 would not lead to care homes being built all round the borough. He said: "We have an idea up to 2026 of how many places we will need.
"We don't need lots of care homes to be built because there will come a point where they are half full and have to close."
Cllr Birch said the average life expectancy in Bracknell is 79 for men and 83 for
women, which is set to rise because of improved health and social care.
He said: "We know the moves in the market and the number of houses needed so we've got our strategy and plans in place. Hopefully we don't get caught out but we think at the moment we have got it right."
The number of over 65s in Wokingham borough is expected to rise by 70% by
2030, from 23,500 to 40,100.
The number of people living beyond 85 is also set to skyrocket.
In Wokingham borough, the figure is set to rise by 172.4% - to 7,900 in 2030. In Bracknell the predicted number is 4,300 (126.3%).
Cllr David Lee, leader of Wokingham Borough Council, said protecting the vulnerable is one of the key aims of the council. Last month it agreed to spend £45.2m on social care in the next three years.
The 'Ready for Ageing?' report was compiled by a House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change.
What do you think - are you worried about the rise in demand for council and health services? Comment at www.bracknellnews.co.uk
This article appeared in Bracknell News 19 Mar 13