FENLAND: Elderly population and health issues leave district on 'time bomb waiting to go off'
Story by: MAGGIE GIBSON A DRAMATIC increase in the elderly population along with health issues related to deprivation, low incomes and low expectations has left Fenland sitting on a time bomb waiting to go off. Councillor Alan Melton gave his stark warnin
Story by: MAGGIE GIBSON
A DRAMATIC increase in the elderly population along with health issues related to deprivation, low incomes and low expectations has left Fenland sitting on a time bomb waiting to go off.
Councillor Alan Melton gave his stark warning after the publication of a report by Cambridgeshire County Council setting out the needs of the ageing population.
He told councillors: "Costs will soar and so will expectations. The question that will need to be addressed is 'How will all this be paid for and where is the funding coming from?'"
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Fenland is given particular mention in the report, as not only will the number of elderly increase dramatically, but other issues in the district will make the situation more acute.
Cllr Melton of Chatteris believes the report and other strategies outlining the problems to be faced have not been given the profile they deserve.
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He said: "If one looks closely at the projected numbers, we are sitting on a time bomb waiting to go off, engulfing future generations not only with the debt of the current crisis, but future costs of adult social care.
"Older people don't want patronizing, they don't want charity, they want what is due, and after all, this is the first generation that has been paying into the system since it was invented. They see it as their right to enjoy long and healthy senior years."
Cllr Melton says despite the lack of government funding the county is offering good and improving services with the meager resources at its disposal. He said: "The trouble is nobody seems to notice this until they have to use the service and access the system."
Cllr Melton paid tribute to the army of dedicated volunteers and carers - he said many are paid not much more than the national minimum wage and would be better off financially stacking shelves in supermarkets.