Older people have told us that they want to live as independently as possible and remain in their own home in the community for as long as they can.
The Council has been supporting solutions to help achieve this. Domiciliary care capacity across the County has significantly increased since 2019. When people are accessing residential care, it is increasingly later in life and with more complex needs (therefore the balance between residential and nursing care is shifting toward using nursing). Housing solutions like Extra Care schemes are giving people the opportunity to plan ahead for their later years on sites which support maintaining independence in the community.
The Council is also working with partners in the NHS to develop the intermediate care system, which supports people following a hospital admission or to avoid one taking place. Intermediate care will assist people to regain skills needed for daily living and mitigate some of the deconditioning commonly seen following acute stays. The council has a range of provision in this space and the ambition is that this becomes more joined up and integrated in future, providing residents with a more coordinated response alongside the NHS. Early work is taking place in local systems to trial ways of working that will lead to these joined-up approaches.
Workforce recruitment and retention remains a challenge for the older peoples market in Essex and the Council will be developing further responses to this in the coming year.