MK to be OAP capital of the UK

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The number of people aged 80 or over living in Milton Keynes is set to double in a decade, making the city the old age pensioner capital of Britain.

New figures reveal that public services in Milton Keynes are on course to come under huge strain within a generation as the number of elderly people increases dramatically.

The statistics come from the city’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment published by the Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group and Milton Keynes Council. It shows the number of people aged 60 or over in the borough is going to increase by about 75 per cent between 2011 and 2026, from around 40,000 to 70,000. The national average is 32 per cent.

The number of people aged over 80 is set to increase by 100 per cent from 7,200 to 14,400 over the same period.

Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, said: “I am deeply concerned about the pressure this is set to put on public services unless we get a fair settlement on resources.

“We need a much more ambitious approach for public transport, housing, health and social care to make sure people enjoy the dignity and independence they want.

“This report should be a wake-up call for the council.”

Milton Keynes has long had a reputation for being a young, vibrant city, home to thousands of young families.

However, it’s the city’s very nature which has led to such a massive increase in the size of the elderly population as men and women who moved to the area in the 1960s and 70s are now nearing retirement age.

By 2026 people aged 60 or over will make up a quarter of the borough’s total population.

Debbie Brock, cabinet lead for health and social care, and chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Getting the overall direction is key, which is why the Health and Wellbeing Strategy is so important, together with the underpinning Older People’s Strategy and the Dementia Strategy.

“We take a broad ranging approach and for example, in our Older People’s Strategy, we have highlighted how we intend to reduce early deaths, tackle diseases and reduce health inequalities by, for example, tackling fuel poverty.”

Donna Derby, director of transformation and delivery for the Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There is an emphasis on self management of conditions, particularly for patients ageing with a long term condition.

“The CCG is then focusing on older patients by working with GP practices to identify patients most at risk of hospital attendance and admission.

“And the CCG is resourcing intermediate care services to work with patients following a hospital stay to minimise a re-admission.”