The AM said plans needed to put in place now to support the regions ageing population to avoid putting intolerable strain on council budgets in future years.
He said more focus needed to be put on supporting older people to live independently in their own homes to prevent situations escalating into crisis.
He welcomed the proposed Older People’s Commissioning Strategy in Wrexham which outlines plans for older people’s services in Wrexham over the next five years.
Mr Skates said: “Our local population is getting older and in future years there is inevitably going to be an even bigger demand for care and support services to help older people live their lives in a dignified and enjoyable way.
“One only need look at Wrexham Council’s own figures to see the growing requests for care services. Of the 475 care packages currently being delivered for a period of 12 months or more by the Council, 54% have seen an increase in the number of hours delivered.
“At the same time we are moving into a period of much tighter financial resources and even tighter council budgets. If we are to avoid our care system collapsing in future years it is vital we use the funding we do have set aside for older peoples services to care for our older people in a much more efficient and streamlined way.
“I met with the Older People’s Commissioner to discuss some of the issues facing older people in areas like Wrexham so we can ensure the structure of services works for the big challenges ahead.
“I welcome Wrexham Council’s proposed new Older People’s Commissioning Strategy which will shape care for older people over the next five years. It recognises we need to support more of our older people in their own homes rather than letting them get into a crisis situation where they need more expensive and more traumatic interventions, such as a move into a care home or local hospital, at a later stage.
“Wrexham currently enables 81% of the older people it supports to continue living independently within their own homes, so this is a good basis from which to start from.
“We need to see services such as domiciliary care delivered in a more personal way as well as an even greater focus on reablement to enable people who use care services to remain independent within their own homes for as long as possible.
“There are big challenges ahead for our ageing population, but ones we can address if we plan effectively.”
Ken Skates is part of the National Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee scrutinising the Social Services and Wellbeing Bill currently making its way through the Assemb
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