10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old. The latest projections are for 5½ million more elderly people in 20 years’ time and the number will have nearly doubled to around 19 million by 2050.
Often the older members of society requiring health or social care or support as seen, as above, dependent and in need to care being delivered to them. This is not only expensive, but also non-engaging and disempowering for the individual.
With growing demands on services it is increasingly important to value the intrinsic skills and abilities of the patient and their personal support network using these to improve their own personal health and wellbeing. Social inclusion and a purpose in life are essential elements in maintaining good mental health.
Mental health problems exacerbate other co-morbidities, reduce quality of life, and increase the overall cost of providing healthcare. With this in mind, active involvement of the third sector in the development and delivery of services, offers opportunities to whole communities to not just improve existing conditions, but also to take preventative actions at a community level. Engaging people in their own communities, and also giving the opportunity to help others.