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Duration: 29 minutes

With the over-65 population of Swindon set to double by 2035, the cost of looking after the elderly will increase dramatically. Alastair McKee finds out the major challenges the council faces and the tough choices they will soon have to take.

BBC Home Affairs Editor Mark Easton looks at some radical solutions to the problem of funding elderly care in the future. Radical solutions that don't involve the state including one scheme that places young people in houses with an older person needing care in return for reduced rent .

And the Bristol grandmother fighting to get access to her granddaughter whom she has not been allowed to see for seven years.

  • Action lines and support

    Elderly person's hands

    If you or anyone you know is affected by the issues raised in the Inside Out: Elderly care special, the following agencies, charities and organisations may be available to help.

    Age UK

    Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone by providing information and advice, and getting involved in campaigns, training and research.



    Advice line: 0800 1696565


    Carers UK

    Carers UK is a charity set up to help people who care for family or friends. It provides information and advice about caring as well as practical and emotional support for carers.



    Carers Trust


    Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.


    With its partners it aims to ensure that information, advice and practical support are available to all carers across the UK.




    Relatives & Residents Association


    The Relatives and Residents Association provides information and support to families and friends who find themselves having to deal with helping their loved ones make the move into a residential home. It also raises concerns about the care that those in need of care are already receiving.


    Contact - 020 7359 8136, weekdays 09.30-16.30, or email info@relres.org





    First Stop offers free, independent information and advice on all aspects of care and housing for older people. Its service includes housing, care, finance and rights.

    Contact - 0800 377 7070 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.


    Action on Elder Abuse

    Action on Elder Abuse works to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults.


    Helpline - 0808 808 8141




    Dementia UK


    Dementia UK is a national charity, committed to improving quality of life for all people affected by dementia. It provides practical and emotional support to family carers of people with dementia.


    Contact - 0845 257 9406 (Tuesdays/Thursdays 11:00-20:45 and Saturdays 10:00-13:00) or email direct@dementiauk.org




    Alzheimer’s Society


    Alzheimer's Society is a leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers.


    The Society provides information and support to people with any form of dementia and their carers through its publications, National Dementia Helpline, website and more than 2,000 local services throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It campaigns for improved standards of care and greater understanding of dementia.


    Helpline – 0300 222 1122. Advisors are available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6.30pm.


    Community schemes


    The following schemes covered in the Inside Out elderly care special may also be of interest:


    Care 4 Care



    Homeshare International



    Share and Care



    Hartrigg Oaks Retirement Village


  • Elderly care

    Elderly person and carer

    Former cabinet minister David Blunkett has warned that families, neighbours and “younger older people” will have to take a more active role in caring for people in their old age.

    Mr Blunkett, who served as Work and Pensions Secretary under Tony Blair, told the BBC’s Inside Out programme that a political solution to the problem of paying for elderly care was unlikely to emerge.

    He said that raising taxes to pay for care was “ridiculous politically because nobody will touch it with a barge pole” and that politicians are “scared of arguing about tax and spend”.

    He added: “We need an imaginative, joined-up, holistic answer that mobilises and supports families with caring, that gets the community involved, that gets ‘younger older’ people who are still active as part of the solution. This is about society as a whole rather than a financial cost[…] It’s essential because the money won’t be available to do it in any other way."

    Inside Out examines the problem of spiralling costs in elderly care.  With many of us living longer is the challenge of providing care reaching crisis point?

    The BBC’s Home Editor Mark Easton examines some of the radical solutions that are being tested around the UK to help tackle the elderly care crisis.

    These include the Isle of Wight’s innovative ‘Care4Care’ scheme – where neighbours bank care credits for the time they spend helping elderly neighbours which they can then spend on their own care later in life. 

    Mark also visits a happy ‘homeshare’ in Essex and a unique retirement village in Yorkshire.

  • Swindon's elderly population

    Older people in Wiltshire

    Over the next 25 years the size of the elderly population in Swindon is set to almost double from 30,000 to nearly 60,000.


    It is the highest percentage increase of any local authority in the West.


    But with care services already stretched, can Swindon Borough Council afford to care for the town's over-65s?


    Elderly care costs Swindon Borough Council about £16m a year, about 12% of its budget.


    Read the full story on the BBC News website.


Alastair McKee
Mark Easton
Series Editor
Dimitri Houtart


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