Report 61: Co-production and participation: Older people with high support needs
Defining older people with high support needs
This is not a homogenous group. By definition ‘older people with high support needs’ fall into two strands of disadvantage – age and disability.Blood 2010b
The number of older people in general is growing and the number of people over 85, the group with the highest support needs, is expected to double in the next 25 years.
However, there is no single definition of the group ‘older people with high support needs' as both ‘older' and ‘high' are used as relative terms and are applied differently. In the context of the social model of disability, an older person who is physically frail with one or more long-term conditions might not have high support needs if they live in accessible housing with assistive technology, and are supported appropriately in the community.
There is diversity within the group in terms of a range of other issues including gender, race, disability, sexuality, mental health and poverty. There are also key differences in terms of housing and living situations.