Councils 'not ready to meet the challenge of an ageing population'

Councils in England with the fastest ageing populations are not ready to meet the challenges, according to an Audit Commission report today.

‘Don’t stop me now – Preparing for an ageing population’ found that the government’s 2005 strategy for older people had not delivered benefits.

The report asked older ‘mystery shoppers’ to identify the everyday challenges they face in accessing council services. They approached 49 councils asking a series of questions and found that most councils need to improve the way they provide information in key areas such as volunteering, leisure and social activities, learning opportunities and transport.

It concluded that most council services focus on the minority who require social care, excluding the invisible majority, which may end up isolated and vulnerable if ignored.

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