Monday, 16 July 2012

Baby boomers reach pension age

The first figures released from the 2011 census show there has been a huge increase in the population of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, no surprises there then.

There are now 53 million people in England; 3.1 million in Wales; and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland.

The percentage of the population aged 65 and over was the highest seen in any census -- at 16.4%,  or one in six people. The BBC news guy just said that’s because ‘people are living longer’. Yes we are, but there are many more of us living very much longer.
Here in Wales there is a higher proportion of 65-year-olds than in nearly all the regions of England.

Those of us in the over-50 age group (OK, over 55, or even fast heading for 60 and above, I will be honest!) …  we already know we are post-war baby-boomers and we know that we are still alive – yes we really are, we are still very much alive and we intend to be so for some considerable time.

What Government and media  – national, regional and local – seem to have missed about all this is is that this huge population bulge will reach pensionable age in the next few years. Actually, very soon.

Yes, I know they have tried to make some savings (cuts, they are cuts, not ‘savings’) by moving the state pension age up, but why am I not surprised that there has been no planning for the huge increase in demand for social care that the ‘baby-boomers’ will bring as they grow older into their 70s, 80s and 90s?

The census tells us there are now 33 times as many people over 90 as there were a century ago. I am not a statistician, but we know that if we jump forward ten years, that figure will be increased by even more, as the boomers continue to live.
And we will continue to live, believe me we will if we can. And some of us, probably many of us, will continue to vote. If we don’t have the carers that we need to help us get to polling stations, we will be voting online, or by post.

All those responsible for providing home care services – yes that is called ‘community care’ – please take note.