Health Minister Edwin Poots has called on the people of Portstewart, Portrush and Coleraine to take part in the debate on the future of adult care and support.
The Minister was speaking ahead of a consultation event to be held in Magherabuoy House Hotel in Portrush today (Thursday).
Mr Poots said: “I urge everyone to read the consultation and, to turn up at Magerabuoy House Hotel in Portrush on Thursday to join what I believe is a much needed debate.
“While care and support might not be something you are thinking about now, the likelihood is that one in three of us will have some form of care need after the age of 65.
“We all know that people are living longer than before. In fact, by 2025, our over 65 population is projected to increase by 42% and the over 85s by 83%. Let me be clear that our growing elderly population is an achievement to be celebrated. But when we consider that the likelihood of people needing some form of care and support increases the older they get, we can see that having a bigger elderly population in the future is going to put increased pressure on the system that cares for people in need.
“The case for change is clear. We simply cannot go on as we are doing and maintain an effective care and support system at the same time. So we must act now to ensure we have a fair, effective and sustainable service in the future. That is why I have embarked on a process of reform with the launch of the ‘Who Cares?’ discussion document.”
We simply can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand and this is your chance to influence change. This is a chance for you to have your say.
The consultation document can be viewed on the www.dhsspsni.gov.uk and the consultation event will be held at Magerabuoy House Hotel at 1pm on Thursday November 29. Minister Poots will not be in attendance.