The majority of older people will live a healthy and active life and only a small percentage will need some form of care. However, as the numbers of older people grow that small percentage will represent quite a number. This is presently seen as a great burden on the bodies tasked with looking after health and social care. It is therefore vital that the voice of older people is heard when decisions are being made about the provision of those services.
Most people want to live their lives under their own control and in familiar surroundings. The powers that be accept this and support people to live their lives in this way. However, this is not always possible and some people have to be taken care of in Residential or Nursing Homes. The system in place at present does not seem to have the interests of the individual as their highest priority. We are of the opinion that this is a must, not only for care homes but in all departments providing services for older people.
What about the needs of those of us that are fortunate enough to keep our health and mental faculties? It is only right that these people have the opportunity to live an active and satisfying life. The Forum is actively engaged with all the providers of social and physical activity groups directed towards older people in an effort to see that they are listening to what older people want.
The Forum works closely with other groups that support older people, Age UK (the new name for the merged Age Concern and Help the Aged), the Welfare and Benefits agency, Carers groups and Home Improvement Agencies to name a few.
We are also represented on bodies set up to deliver services locally and County wide. These include Pendle's Local Strategic Partnership where local politicians, businesses, service providers, Health, Education and members of the voluntary sector are represented.
We are also represented on bodies set up to try and ensure the delivery of all services directed at older people. These include the East Lancashire Older Peoples Partnership Board and Lancashire 50+ Assembly.
We were involved in the setting up of Lancashire County Councils Strategy for an Ageing Population whose vision for older people is "Lancashire is a county where older people are empowered to live their lives in the way that they choose and where their skills and expertise are valued".