Pensioner household numbers to soar in Central Bedfordshire over next 25 years

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 October 2018

Archant

The number of pensioner households in Central Bedfordshire will grow by more than three-quarters within 25 years, according to official projections.

There will be 55,956 households where the head of the household is over 65 by 2041, calculations by the Office for National Statistics show. That’s a rise of 77 per cent.

And households with people over 85 will more than double, rising by 157 per cent to 11,055.

Age UK, a charity working with older people, says a “revolution” is needed in social care to support the ageing population in their own homes.

Older people account for most of the growth in the number of households in the next two decades.

Joanna Harkrader, from the Centre for Ageing and Demography at the ONS, said: “We project the majority of household growth over the next 25 years will be because of the rise in the number of households being headed by someone aged 65 years and over. This shows the impact an ageing population is having on household growth.”

The ONS defines a household as a single person living alone, or a group of people who live at the same address and share rooms and a kitchen. A household may be a family, more than one family, or a group of unrelated people.

Dr Elizabeth Webb, of Age UK, said it was great news that people were living longer. She said that while many would remain independent there would be a growing need for health and social care that could not be fulfilled already.

“The over-85 group is the fastest growing and the most likely to have the greatest needs for social and health care, which has an impact on the health service.” Dr Webb said.

“It’s about having a person there to help get them out of bed, help them wash and dress and to put a meal on the table. This needs people, not a technological solution.

“The social care workforce is understaffed and there’s not enough cash to provide the support that’s needed.”

Dr Webb added: “Older people today are more likely than future generations to have children to help care for them. In future we’ll see more people living alone and more without someone to care for them.”

The projections show that the changes to the number of younger households is much less marked in Central Bedfordshire. Under-25 households will grow by two per cent. And there will be nine per cent more in the 25-to-34 age bracket.

The ONS believes that by 2041 there will be an extra four million households in England, but this is fewer than previously forecast. It says that the slower growth is due to assumptions about births, life expectancy, migration and new forecasts on the numbers of people who will continue to live with parents or cohabitate.

The projections show that in Central Bedfordshire the number of households will climb to 149,793 by 2041, while the population will grow by 68,923 to 343,251.

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