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Tuesday 31 January 2012

Pioneering programme to support older people in Cheshire East is launched


A new programme designed to make Cheshire East a better place to live and grow old has been launched.

Ageing Well aims to give Cheshire East’s older people a strong voice on issues which affect their lives, and help them to retain their independence and ensure they have the same opportunities as anyone else.

The area has the fastest-growing ageing population in the North West and currently has more than 140,000 people who are aged 50 and over. By 2033, it is projected that this will increase to 186,000 people.

With this in mind, Cheshire East wants older people to have more choice and control and to receive the help they need. The Council also wants to ensure they are valued and respected within their communities and it believes the Ageing Well programme will help to achieve this.

Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said: “We recognise that older people who live in Cheshire East contribute a great deal of talent, experience and knowledge to our communities.

“We have heard stories about many over 50s who are leading richly rewarding and full lives, helping in the voluntary sector, schools and supporting statutory organisations to deliver services such as home safety checks.

“Many older people are also actively involved in activities within their local communities and there are numerous organisations that are run by and for people over 50.

“The vision for our programme involves making Cheshire East a good place to grow old. It has become increasingly clear to us that the group of people most likely to make this vision a reality are older people themselves.

“By 2033 more than 45 per cent of our population will be over 50. Ageing Well aims to ensure that services are planned in such a way that they continue to meet the needs of the local population.

“This programme will bring together local people, communities and organisations to make those plans and to ensure that they become a reality.”

Ageing Well kicked off with a grand launch at Legends, in Crewe, on Thursday (January 26), where the aims of the programme were outlined.

There were lively speeches by the Council’s Chief Executive Erika Wenzel, DWP State Pensions director Charlie Massey and the Fifty Plus Network – a group operating in Cheshire which aims to give people of 50 years and over a voice on the things that matter to them.

People heard how the Council and its partners, including the Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust (CECPCT) and Age UK Cheshire, are looking to maximise opportunities for older people to: prepare for the later stages of life; maintain their quality of life; and have access to services if required.

Ken Clemens, chief executive of Age UK Cheshire, said: “Cheshire East, in common with all other areas of the UK, is going to have to adapt itself to the potential of its ageing population.

“The Ageing Well Programme gives us a tremendous opportunity to do this by ensuring we are working across all sectors so that we are able to empower older people to age in good health and to contribute more actively in our local communities.”

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