The fact that Herefordshire will have a much-higher-than-UK-average percentage of residents aged 65+ by 2030 (Concern as County Ages, November 26) has been known for many years.

However, we ought to be pleased about this, not worried!

Nowadays most people aged 65+ will lead healthy and active lives for another 20 years or more and will not be the burden on the community that Coun Seldon envisages.

Only about 4 per cent will need care homes. Loss of mobility is a greater problem but this could be met – at far lower cost – by ensuring that there is more suitable housing (bungalows, flats with lifts etc) and more support within each community to enable older people to live in their own homes, as most would prefer.

I suggest Coun Seldon’s group revisit two excellent papers prepared by Herefordshire Council officials in the past – Herefordshire Older People’s Housing Strategy and Pathway of 2015 and Older People’s Integrated Needs Assessment of 2018.

So far as I can tell, these papers were never acted upon!

As to Mr Paul Smith’s suggestion that we need to “attract younger families to the county”, surely we should first ensure that young people who are already here have access to good quality work opportunities throughout the county and don’t have to leave Herefordshire in order to have a future? Who knows? Some of those opportunities might even be provided by the older and more experienced people he’s complaining about!

Julia Evans


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