A TOP councillor has admitted that an ageing population and rising demand for adult social care will be a major challenge in the near future.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, executive member for adult social care and health at Hampshire County Council, has spoken out after the number of people needing care in Hampshire rose by over 5,000 in the past year.
She says that as funding is reduced, the council must find new ways to provide care – while also coping with the increasing demand.
Cllr Fairhurst said: ‘Adult social care is facing significant increases in demand driven by an ageing population and by the growing numbers of younger adults with complex disabilities.
‘As a local authority, this means we are having to look for new and innovative ways of meeting this demand with a reducing amount of funding available.
‘As a consequence, we are responding to well over 100,000 requests for information, advice and support each year. All those eligible for support, as determined by national guidelines, will receive it.
‘The demographics of our county means that we have seen, and will continue to see, a steady growth in demand – particularly in our over 85+ population, the numbers of whom grow by around 1,000 each year.’
Cllr Fairhurst also says that finding funding for the growing number of applications could prove challenging in the future.
She added: ‘The challenges of a growing population and the constraints upon public finances are well rehearsed.
‘Whilst government have provided some short-term funding support, which is welcome, the challenge of a long-term funding solution for social care cannot be underestimated.’