JSNA – People – Ageing Well

Last Updated: May 2024

Ageing Well

As the UK population grows older and life expectancy increases, ageing well is a key public health priority. The Ageing Well Dashboard is an interactive tool with a range of indicators showing different aspects of ageing well including behavioural risk factors, health protection, and health and social care.

Headlines Figures

  • There are 75,300 people aged 65 years and over in Barnet.
  • Coverage of the influenza vaccine is 70% in those aged 65 and over and coverage of the Shingles vaccine is 48% in those aged 71 years old. This is above both the London and England averages.
  • The rate of hip fractures has remained stable since 2010/11 and is currently 479 per 100,000 in those aged 65 and over.
  • The rate of permanent admissions to residential and nursing care homes in those aged 65+ has been rising since 2016/17 and is currently 543 per 100,000.
  • Dementia prevalence in Barnet is 0.6% – this represents a decline compared to 2019/20.


Demographic Information

Currently older adults (aged 65+) make up 14% of Barnet’s population. We see an increase in the number of older adults living in Barnet based on projections to 2043. The proportion of older adults in Barnet varies by geography. The wards with the highest proportion of people aged 65+ in Barnet include Garden Suburb and Golders Green.

Barnet is a diverse borough. Although across Barnet the most common ethnicity was White (English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British), there are variations between wards seen in Census 2021 data for adults aged 65+. Barnet’s overall deprivation level (IMD score) is lower than the London and national averages. However pockets of high deprivation exist, some of which make up the most 20% deprived areas of England. This is split by MSOA, with Grahame Park showing the highest IMD score across Barnet.  Income deprivation affecting older people (IDAOPI) is a measure of the proportion of all those aged 60 and over experiencing deprivation relating to low income (based on people who are not in work, or who are in work but have low incomes). Areas of highest deprivation do not necessarily correlate with IMD data nor areas with a higher proportion of the population aged 65+.

Behavioural Risk Factors

Data on smoking cessation uptake in Barnet is summarised for age groups for 2020/21 to 2022/23. Episodes refer to a single presentation to smoking cessation services, so would count an individual presenting more than once in the financial year as a distinct episode. Since 2021/22, there has been decrease in the total number of episodes.

Alcohol use and its impacts on health and wellbeing of populations is well-documented and has been identified as a causal factor in many medical conditions. Hospital admission rates for alcohol-related conditions for those aged 40-64 and 65+ in Barnet are lower compared to London and England averages.

Physical inactivity contributes to the risk of conditions such as cardiovascular disease and is associated with decreased functional capacity in older people. 22% of adults in Barnet are physically inactive.

Obesity carries significant health risks for a variety of chronic diseases. Data from NCL Health Intent provides comparison of obesity prevalence across broad ethnic groups in Barnet. Note ethnic group is classified in broad categories, so would not account for increased risks within ethnic groups.  Across people aged 18+, the percentage of obesity and severe obesity was highest for those from ‘Black’ ethnic groups (22.94%), compared to the lowest percentage seen in ‘Other’ ethnic groups (10.52%).

Health Protection

There are 3 vaccines offered to adults as part of the routine immunisation schedule:

  • Influenza: The proportion of people aged 65+ registered with GP in Barnet receiving the flu vaccine has been increasing overall since 2018/19, however the this has remained below the England average.
  • PPV: Certain population groups are susceptible to severe pneumococcal disease, including older adults. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) protects against 23 types of the bacteria. People aged 65+ are offered one dose. In 2020/21 Barnet had 69.4% coverage.
  • Shingles: The shingles vaccination aims to reduce the incidence and severity by boosting pre-existing immunity. For 2021/22, 46.6% of those offered the vaccine in this age group were vaccinated.

The UK has national screening initiatives for breast, cervical, and bowel cancer, as well as targeted lung health checks for those at a higher risk of lung cancer. Additionally, there’s a national screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) to address associated mortality risks.

Health and Social Care

Hospital Admissions: For the period 2022/23, Barnet residents aged 50+ had 64,885 admissions to hospitals. Most residents were admitted Barnet General Hospital, this is followed closely by the Royal Free Hospital and Edgware Community Hospital.

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Diabetes: In Barnet, while the prevalence of CVD-related conditions is lower than the national average, it’s higher than the NCL average. There is a rising prevalence of diabetes in barnet for people aged 17+.

Musculoskeletal Health and Falls: Osteoporosis is a condition causing bone fragility and increased fracture risk. In 2022/23, the prevalence of osteoporosis in individuals aged 50+ in Barnet was high, with all PCNs except 1W having significantly higher prevalence of osteoporosis compared to the NCL average. Falls are a major health concern, often leading to long-term care needs for older adults. In 2022/23 in Barnet, the number of emergency admissions for hip fractures among individuals aged 65 and older was 479 per 100,000 of the population.

Social Care: In Barnet in 2021/22 the rate of admission to residential or nursing care was 543 admissions per 100,000 of the population aged 65+. Future projections suggest an increase in care home residents. Unpaid carers, often older adults, play a vital role in social care support. Self-reported data from the 2021 Census suggested 10% of adults aged 65+ in Barnet were unpaid carers.

Wider Determinants:

Employment rates among those nearing retirement dropped in Barnet in 2020/21, although this was not statistically significant. In 2022/23 70.5% of Barnet residents aged 50-64 were in employment. Older homelessness, classified as those aged 55+, is of particular concern due to the accelerated ageing and health conditions associated with long-term homelessness. In Barnet, during 2021/22, the rate of households owed prevention or relief duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA), where the main applicant was aged 55+ was 4.52/1000 households. Poor housing quality disproportionately affects those in deprivation and private rentals. Homeowners aged 65+ in Barnet reported better health than those in privately or socially rented accommodation.

Older adults with additional needs:

Dementia: Barnet had a significantly higher prevalence of Dementia compared to London in 2021/22. The proportion of patients with their care plan reviewed face-to-face has improved in 2022/23, since 2020/21.

People with Learning Disabilities (PWLD): Annual health checks for PWLD are crucial for proactive medical care and addressing unmet health needs. In 2018/19, 55% of PWLD in Barnet (aged 14+) had an annual health check.

Severe Mental Illness: Severe mental illness (SMI) is linked with higher premature mortality rates compared to the general population, largely due to physical health. In 2022/23 55.8% of people with SMI were recorded as having a health check in the previous 12 months in Barnet.

Sensory and Physical Disability: The likelihood of experiencing disability is greater with age, however it is also important to consider how people living with disabilities can be supported proactively to live and age well in Barnet. Hearing and visual impairments significantly impact health and well-being, leading to unemployment, social isolation, and mental ill-health.

  • NHS estimates indicate that as of 2020 there were 58,850 people in Barnet with clinically significant hearing loss[1], and over half of were aged 60+.
  • Break down by type of registration as blind or partially sighted in Barnet in 2020/21 shows a significant proportion are aged 75+.

[1] World Health Organization (2008). World Health Organisation Grades of Hearing Impairment. (Online) ec.europa.eu. Available at: Table 4: World Health Organisation Grades of Hearing Impairment – Figures and Tables (europa.eu) (Accessed 1st December 2023)

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