Promoting a healthy ageing population in Staffordshire

Promoting a healthy while ageing population in Staffordshire is a key theme of this year’s annual report on the public health of the county.

As we look to the future, more and more people in Staffordshire can expect to live to be more than 100 years old which is good news as old age is something that should be celebrated and seen as a positive rather than seen as a burden.

As I have spoken about before there has been an increasing demand on health services, long-term care and also on funding.  In Staffordshire although only 15 per cent of people are currently classed as “frail elderly” this small group of people account for almost 70 per cent of health and care resources.

The report highlights the need for a more positive focus on promoting healthier, active and independent ageing where possible.  To do this we need to create the right environment around areas such as health and housing, promoting healthier lifestyles and choices, social inclusion and the provision of quality care services.

We have to change to meet the growing demands of supporting an increasing ageing population, but also embrace and value the contribution older people in our communities can make. This is all about encouraging more independence and less dependence through prevention, early intervention and quality support to help more people lead better, healthier, active lives as they age.

From health to food now, Staffordshire’s agriculture and food production industries provide thousands of jobs and millions of pounds to our local economy, while so many more people earn their living from the retail and restaurant side.

With the county 80% rural and this sector so vital to our overall economy we need to understand it, be in a good position to support it and plan ahead for the future.

Our ‘from farm to fork’ survey will look at every aspect of growing and rearing, production, manufacturing, marketing and selling and will use the results along with interviews  to give us a clear picture of the industry.  The information will help us to understand the size and make-up of the sectors, their supply chains, whether they need more people with specific skills coming into the market and what support they will need to continue thriving in the future.

We want to hear from both businesses and organisations involved in the sector and the public.  The survey is available at http://localfood.org.uk/wordpress/staffs/ with options tailored for different groups.

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