West Sussex County Council policy for ageing population

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THE county council has backed a policy to help the area’s ageing population.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has given “warm support” to a policy which focuses on how people can be supported to continue to access the lifestyle they choose, to remain active and to maintain their independence.

Among key aspects, the policy states that services should help to avoid social isolation among the elderly by encouraging greater use of community resources and the voluntary sector.

Planners and commissioners should also try to make environments suitable for active older people by, for instance, ensuring that benches, mobility scooters and battery charging facilities are installed when designing a local shopping street.

They should also consider how best to make customers and carers aware of the choices available to them and how they may want to access services in the future using computer technology.

County Council leader Louise Goldsmith said: “This is an informative piece of work that will help us design services for the future and help people age with confidence.

“This is only the start of our evolving vision for Future West Sussex, which will see more services commissioned through the voluntary sector and wider community to take account of an older and more diverse population.”

Prepared and written by the Preparing for an Ageing Population Task and Finish Group, on behalf of the county council, which included elected members of the county council and from district and borough councils, the policy supports WSCC’s Age with Confidence strategy.

Peter Catchpole, cabinet member for health and adults’ services, said: “I want to thank the Task and Finish Group for its efforts. This will help all of us to access the services we need to live more healthily as we get older.”

The next step will be to implement the policy across the county and the county council, a WSCC spokesman said.