Life expectancy is gradually increasing as the years go by. When the NHS was first founded, the average person would live to roughly 67 years of age; in 2019, by comparison, life expectancy has risen to 80 years old. Although it’s great that methods of prolonging life and treating illnesses have developed, the fact that people are living longer than ever puts an enormous strain on the NHS – particularly as an 85-year-old person costs the NHS significantly more than the average 30-year-old. It’s inevitable that, as we age, our health and strength declines, making us more reliant on state healthcare.
Treatments for serious illnesses, such as HIV and cancer, are now developed enough that many can live longer with these diseases provided they take their prescribed medicines and undergo regular check-ups. These drugs are incredibly costly to the NHS, and can partly account for the NHS’ current financial situation.
It’s estimated that by the time we reach our eighties, the vast majority of us will need some sort of care; and considering that most of us are expected to reach this age, it’s understandable that this puts considerable pressure on the NHS. However, the rising costs of the NHS and the lack of funding it receives means that as a society, we are experiencing cuts and may well have to increase our tax contributions.
How, as a society, can we support the NHS and deal with potential tax increases? Taking preventative measures could be the place to start. Although illnesses can take their form no matter the lifestyle you lead, as individuals we can try to live the healthiest lifestyle possible to reduce lifestyle-related health issues. Additionally, those who have reached their senior years and struggle to live independently could enlist the support of a home carer. Those who receive homecare may be entitled to benefits if they require support throughout the day and/or night. See here for more details.
Homecare is also available in some retirement developments – especially those that follow the Extra-Care model. Different levels of care can be provided depending on the level that you require, with carers on-site 24/7. In addition to providing residents with a sense of security, this ultimately saves money for local NHS services and reduces pressure put on them during busy times of the year.
Our increasing life expectancy is most certainly something to be celebrated, and we shouldn’t have to worry about how we’re going to afford sufficient healthcare during the later stages of life. By seeking homecare support, you’ll not only be cutting down on your own expenses, but you’ll also be supporting the future of the NHS.