Citizens urged to have their say on future of care for older people in Aberdeen

Aberdeen City Council will host a series of consultation events to encourage everyone in the city to help shape the future of care for older people for years to come.

The Council will stage a series of events next week inviting the older people of Aberdeen, patients, service users, carers, citizens and professionals to take part as work continues on the Joint Commissioning Strategy for Older People in Aberdeen.

This is part of the Council's ongoing work on "Reshaping Care for Older People", which is a national programme designed to optimise the independence and wellbeing of older people at home or in a homely setting.

The consultation will help shape the framework on which health and social care services for people aged 65 and over will be commissioned over the next 10 years in the city.

The Joint Strategy brings together NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council through the Aberdeen City Community Health and Social Care Partnership to work in partnership with residents in the city and other organisations, including our Change Fund Partners (ACVO and Scottish Care) to provide high quality, responsive services that deliver on the desired outcomes for the older people of the City.

The consultation is in response to the challenge of population change set to face the city over the next 20 years, with an increasing number of older people placing a greater demand on health and social care services.

In order to deliver the best strategy for the next ten years the Joint Commissioning consultation intends to find out what people need and how to plan and secure the best range and quality of health and social care provision that will meet those needs.

Convener of Social Care and Wellbeing Councillor Len Ironside MBE said: "Older people are an asset to society and it should be celebrated that we are living longer with many older people fit and well, living in their communities without professional support.

"As a society we must recognise, also, that resources are unlikely to grow with demand and we need to spend less on some of the things we do now and find different, and more efficient and effective ways of delivering services in the future.

"This is a hugely important consultation that will impact on the lives of everyone, whether you are approaching retirement age or have family and friends that rely on health and social care services this is an issue that will affect everyone. Therefore it's vital that the residents of the city have the opportunity to give their input and help to shape the best way forward for the city."

Participants in the consultation will be invited to offer their input and suggestions on the following themes:

• Healthier - Focus on promotion of health and wellbeing and strengthen early intervention and prevention.

• Safer and Stronger - Promoting safety at home and developing safer communities which will improve the quality of life for older people.

• Wealthier and Fairer – Focusing on the strong relationship between income, deprivation and health. Some older people are living less healthy and satisfying lives as a result of financial insecurity.

• Smarter - Older people want choice and control over their care and support, so they can decide how best to achieve the outcomes they desire, while feeling connected to their social circle and their communities.

• Greener - Creation of healthy environments that encourage people to be more physically active contributes to improved health and well-being, and to the formation of inclusive communities.

• Making best use of our resources - Optimising the independence of older people at home means services must look at how they manage resources to deliver the best value for all older people and their carers.

The consultation is open to everyone with public events starting on Monday (29 October), where members of the public are invited to make their contribution and speak to Council officers about the process.

The first event will take place at the Beach Ballroom on Monday from 9am until 12.30pm. The second event will take place on 30 October (Tuesday) at Curl Aberdeen from 9am until 12:30pm. Both events are open to everyone.

On Thursday (1 November) a focus group will be held at the Arts Centre from 1pm until 4pm, which will be open to organisations that provide services to older people.

If you cannot attend any of the events the consultation documents can be found at http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/council_government/consultations/cst_CurrentConsultation.asp

This consultation will be open until Friday 9 November 2012.