Older People

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Scotland has an increasingly ageing population. According to the National Records for Scotland*, the number of people aged 75 and over is projected to increase by 27% over the next ten years and increase by 79% over the next 25 years to 2041.

Between 2016 and 2041, the population of pensionable age is projected to rise from 1.05 million to 1.32 million, an increase of 25%. The impact of an ageing population will mean that an increasing number of people will be living with multiple long-term conditions and complex needs.

Reshaping Care for Older People

In March 2010, Reshaping Care for Older People: A Programme for Change 2011-2021 set out the Scottish Government's vision and immediate actions for reshaping the care and support of older people in Scotland. 

The programme aims to improve the quality and outcomes of current models of care, while developing services in a sustainable way that addresses current demographic and funding pressures.

The policy goal for Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) is "to optimise the independence and wellbeing of older people at home or in a homely setting." It is noted that this will require a "substantial shift in focus of care from institutional settings to care at home – because it is what people want and provides better value for money."

Public Audit Committee report

In June 2014, the Scottish Parliament's Public Audit Committee published a report on RCOP. The report follows a the Auditor General for Scotland and Accounts Commission publication 'Reshaping care for older people' which assessed progress three years into the 10 year programme. 

The Committee report notes the "significant long term challenge" of shifting the balance of care and makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • Information on the costs of providing care for older people and how that care is delivered must be well understood. 
  • The Scottish Government should provide information on what measures the RCOP outcomes framework will report on, and against what criteria or baseline activity the success of the RCOP policy will be assessed in 2021.
  • Information is needed on how the Scottish Government and the Joint Improvement Team propose to address limitations in IRF data on longer term trends and spend by councils on those aged 75 or over. 

Housing for Older People

In October 2017, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced that older people will have greater access to affordable homes with the introduction of greater flexibility to shared equity schemes. Older people will be able to access a range of home ownership schemes offered by the Scottish Government. These can provide options that brings older people closer to family and care support, and are more affordable and suitable for their needs – including downsizing, or the option to buy a retirement or supported home.

The Scottish Government has announced plans to publish a Refreshed Strategy for Housing for Scotland’s Older People in 2017-18. 

The Future of Residential Care for Older People in Scotland

In 2013 the Scottish Government established a Task Force on the Future of Residential Care for Older People in Scotland, with a primary objective to "examine at a strategic level the key purpose and desired structure of residential care services fit for the aspirations and needs of future generations".

The Task Force, co-chaired by Douglas Hutchens and COSLA Health and Wellbeing Spokesperson Cllr Peter Johnson, published its final report in March 2014. The report makes 34 key recommendations for the delivery of care and support in residential settings for older people over the next 20 years, focusing on the following areas:

  • Strategic outcomes and priorities
  • Personalisation
  • Residency, Tenancy and Tenure
  • Capacity planning
  • Commissioning
  • Managing Risk
  • Care Home Governance
  • Fee structure and funding

A summary document outlining the report's recommendations has also been published.

Other Documents

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