A Buckingham councillor has warned that the state pension is not enough to support ailing older people in their final years.
District councillor Robin Stuchbury’s comments come after new figures revealed that many people in Bucks start to fall into ill health at 70, yet now live much longer carrying these health problems.
Mr Stuchbury said: “They haven’t got the resources in their standard pension to buy into services being offered by the County Council
“If you’re on a fixed pension trying to balance it with heating and food costs, it’s difficult to live to a good standard.
“The cost of Bucks County Council services have risen. The reason is their funding from central government has been continuously cut.
“It’s a success story of the NHS that we’re living longer but if your income is not keeping up with the cost of living it’s difficult to sustain your standard of living”
According to a county council health chief, elderly Bucks residents are living more than a decade of their lives in poor health,.
The “healthy” life expectancy for women in Bucks is 70 years – however on average they are living until they are 85.
The gap is slightly lower for men who spend around 12 years of their life expectancy battling health problems, according to Bucks County Council’s assistant director of public health Tracey Ironmonger.
The information came during an update to the county council’s health and adult social care select committee about their Better Lives programme which aims to transform the way social care is delivered.
The scheme aims to enable more adults with disabilities to live independently and ensure elderly Bucks residents live healthier lives for longer.
Ms Ironmonger said: “This prevention model is aiming to look specifically at the people who are on the edge of requiring care to maintain their independence and stay as well as possible.
“However we also look much broader than that into how we can extend those healthier years of life through healthy lifestyles, preventing long term conditions, identifying long term conditions earlier and supporting people with long term conditions so they can stay well.”
For more information on the Better Lives programme visit: https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk and follow the links to the report.