ALMOST £500,000 has been handed to social care bosses in a bid to have more OAPs cared for at home.

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) got £458,799 from NHS training board Health Education Thames Valley.

It will be used to educate carers and elderly residents about “assistive technology” like alarms and sensors and also aid recruitment of care staff.

It is hoped the cash will help reduce hospital and care home admissions and allow those in hospital to go home sooner.

Adult and children’s social care spending makes up about £275m – 47 per cent – of the council’s £585.3m annual spend.

The number of over-85s in Oxfordshire is predicted to rise from 14,683 in 2011 to 39,400 in 2035 as life expectancy increases.

County director of public health Dr Jonathan McWilliam believes this is the “number one health care challenge”.

Cabinet member for adult social care, Judith Heathcoat, said: “I am delighted that we successfully bid for this grant and it will be money that will be put to excellent use locally by developing the local adult social care market.

“We have an ageing population and demand for social care is on the rise.”

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