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You are in: Jersey > People > Your island > How to deal with the old?

Old Lady

How to deal with the old?

As the average age of islanders rises - Jersey politicians will be asking the people for the best way ahead.

Jersey, as with most of the rest of the developed world, is getting older as a society.

People are living a lot longer and fewer children are being born.

As the average age of islanders rises - Jersey politicians will be asking the people for the best way ahead.

The Council of Ministers is launching a major public consultation on the question of how to deal with the island's ageing population.

It's been estimated that by 2035 the number of elderly people living in Jersey will have reached critical mass - straining the island's resources beyond capacity.

It's a problem faced by most Western countries - and Jersey's Council of Ministers is determined to do something about it as soon as possible.

On November 20 a major report into the population will be released, and the public will be given some suggestions of how best to deal with the issue.

It will culminate in a day-long event in January when people will be given a chance to discuss all the possibilities and vote on their choice. The results will be debated in the States next summer.

Your comments

But we can’t wait that long. We want to know your thoughts on how to manage an ageing island. How do you cover the costs of caring for an older population?

A couple of comments from the BBC Radio Jersey phone-in included this from Troy “The oldies should keep very quiet as it is us young uns who pay for their pensions, welfare, and medical services, Everyone over the age of 65 should be keept in a home”

Mary in St Lawrence thought the age problem was down to Health and Safety. She said “all the do gooders who delight in stopping us all from taking risks ELF N SAFETY etc and, smoking bans will have to bear  looking after the elderly. Unintended consequences?”.

Jenni feels that we should be doing more to encourage immigration. She said “Funny how it seems to be the large number of elderly population who complain the most and the loudest about the number of immigrants who come into the island - yet the immigrents are the ones who are paying their pensions.

“Perhaps instead of telling them to get out and go home some of our senior generation should start saying to the immigrant workforce "thanks for coming here and working so hard so I can afford to make phone calls to the phone in to tell you to get the boat home in the morning!"

And Marcus thinks older people show show more respect to younger people who decide to have children.

He told us “If we, the twenty and thirtysomethings of today all decided to stop having children (and evidence is many are) then in a generation time there will be nobody left to work in Jersey to pay the tax that provides healthcare etc... for the retired people in the island.  I think the older people should show more respect to the young of today.”

Over to you

What are your thoughts on the ageing population? How do you solve a problem where more people are passing retirement age than are reaching work age?

Do we scrap retirement completely and make everybody work until they die? Do we do more to encourage more immigration to the island? What about incentives for young people to have more children?

How about compulsory euthanasia at age 70? Or should we all, young and old, just try to get on and work together to make sure there is enough money to go around?

Should both old and young get used to having less space to live, working longer hours and fewer benefits like free health care and pensions?

last updated: 29/04/2008 at 15:50
created: 19/10/2007

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Ship 'em Out but they can't
I love the ship 'em out comment! but obviously that can't be done. They are people just like you and me. You wouldn't want to be treated differently because of your age...so why should they?

Ship 'em Out
"All ways a ferry in the morning" (unless the french are protestin'"

Chug
Seeing some of the more stupid comments, I just hope that that when, not if, but when these people have to deal with, or suffer Alzheimer's themselves they will reflect on their thoughtless statements.

Dillon
Just looking at the headline gives an idea of what the journalist may think of old people. They're not some amorphous group ("the old"). They're people. Just older that's all.

Richard The Lionheart
I think we should rebuild fort regent into some for of retirement city/home for the older generation. Think of it, makes sense

Sarah
i think all old people living in housing should be made to go down to 1 bedroom flats to make way for families. they shouldnt have all the discounts that are costing us money. there is no incentive for young people to have children because you have nothing to live on!

Scott
Kelly Major, not everyone lives for their retirement though, or has the financial backing to do that. I'm up for putting nest egg away but can't the government do that aswell. Having said that why have money in the when you move as slow as a tortoise, i rather spend it when you can move like a hair. Memories/seeing the world and living life to full or bank balance? you decide

Ashley F
On reflection - older people on the island are treated awfully. It breaks my heart to think what some of these poor and in many cases lonely old people have to go through just to get by.What can you do though? It must be easier to just forget :-((((((((

Ashley F
Two old ladies, more or less, stole a taxi off of me and my friends on Sunday afternoon - in broad daylight too! The bloody cheek of it!

communist
Enforced euthenasia at 75.But seriously Kelly has put in the most sensible, and considered response to any of these postings I have ever read. Well done. It would work but is a long term answer. Very few governments think long term!

Young Rascal
Send em all to Old Ham (get it?)HAHAHEHE a place in England near to Manchester i think

bob
put GST on food and we can all starve no problem.

malcolm powder
move them all to a single parish where they can whinge the day away - actually, St Lawrence and St Martin already exist for this purpose !!

Kelly Major
An ageing population is incresingly common in industrialised societies such as Jersey. What is important to remember is that whilst an increase in the number of aged could potentially pose a burden to society financially, if this is coupled with the decrease in births, which is increasingly common as people opt out of having large families or any children at all, then less funding is required for areas such as child care. Obviously this is a crude example but it bears an important point. What would be beneficial, to prevent further struggle for support in the future, is to educate and encourage people about private pensions and savings, by starting young then people will cope better at an older age and thus be less enclined to depend on the State for welfare support. Obviously this is a complicated issue but it is important to think actively about it because getting old is unavoidable for us all.

Sqn Leader C Gull
I love old people.Even though they smell of Savlon and wee.

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