Caring for Gloucestershire’s ageing population
There is a drive both nationally and locally to keep people in their own homes and out of residential care. However, the number of over 65s with dementia and/or living with a long-term illness is predicted to rise significantly in Gloucestershire, as it is nationally. Also, as the population ages, so too will the number of older carers aged 65, and many may require extra support to provide care.
Gloucestershire County Council and other local health and social organisations want to enable older adults to remain in their own homes and communities for as long as possible, and to provide more choice for older people than traditional institutional care.
Evolving Communities Consultancy was commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council to gather the views of local residents aged 65 years and older on care home provision in the county. They wanted their new care home strategy to meet the needs of all Gloucestershire residents, and were particularly interested to find out more about the needs of those of minority ethnic faiths as well as those who identify as LGBT. They also wanted to understand care home resident’s perspective on what it is like to live in a care home.
We worked closely with our local Healthwatch Gloucestershire colleagues and volunteers to collect the views of people from across the county. We ran an online survey, and we talked to a wide range of people through one-to-one discussions and focus groups. We spoke with care home residents and their families, and we visited several local community and voluntary sector led groups, including lunch clubs and support groups. Using interpreters, we worked with local minority ethnic faith organisations to access the views of older members of their communities. We worked with local LGBT groups to explore their needs and wishes for future care provision.