Older people on Teesside 'vulnerable'


Older people living on Teesside are among the most "vulnerable" in the UK and living in areas of "decline", BBC commissioned research has found.

In Hartlepool 20.4% of people aged over 50 are causing concern because they are in poor health, are isolated and living on a low income.

This is the 30th worst area in the UK out of 404, according to the Experian research on the ageing population.

The figure for Middlesbrough is 18% and 17.9% for Redcar and Cleveland.

Currently 32% of the population in Middlesbrough is over 50 and this is set to slowly rise to 35% by 2029, according to researchers.

In Redcar and Cleveland the figure is much higher - 39% are over 50 with the figure expected to rise to 44% in 20 years time.

Researchers classed people as vulnerable if they were short of money, in poor health or physically inactive.

Middlesbrough was found to have a high number of older people living in low rise social housing estates where jobs were scarce.

They also found that many were living on benefits or incomes little higher than the minimum wage.

The Experian research also found that Middlesbrough has some neighbourhoods in long-term decline where "unemployment and industrial sickness were endemic".

Middlesbrough Council estimates that there are currently 43,000 over-50s in the borough, but by 2017, there will be more than 50,000.

It wants to make sure their needs are met and has formulated a 10-year plan "Themes for the Future".

Its aim is to create extra-care housing to enable the town's older people to live more independently.

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