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Older man on bed

Cuts to spending are putting even more pressure on the social care system.

Despite a chronically underfunded care system to start with, big spending cuts to local councils have in turn meant reduced spending on social care services. 

This has led to harsher restrictions on the criteria of who is eligible to receive care, meaning that even fewer older people get the support they need to live independently and well. 

Spending on social care has dropped by £1.2 billion

The figures are astounding. Age UK’s latest report, Care in Crisis 2014 has found that since 2010, spending on social care has dropped by £1.2 billion or 15.4%.

Even with the transfer of money from the NHS budget, there remains a shortfall of £769 million.

opens link in new windowDownload the report: Care in Crisis 2014 (PDF, 635KB)

Local authorities have become more restrictive in their criteria for deciding who is eligible for support. 87% of local authorities have now limited their threshold to ‘substantial’ needs, with a further 2% only offering support for ‘critical’ needs.

This leaves hundreds of thousands of older people with so-called ‘moderate’ needs, such as needing help getting dressed, washing or going to the toilet, without any help from their council.

Instead, they may be expected to face potentially catastrophic costs to pay for support or rely on friends and family, even if that means carers giving up work to care for loved ones.

It's the human stories behind the numbers that are truly tragic

At the same time, our population ages and the number of people who may need care is ever increasing. The number of people over 85 years old, the group most likely to need support, has grown by 30% since 2005. However, the number of older people actually receiving care has dropped by 27.2%.

The statistics are shocking but it is the human story behind the numbers that is truly tragic.

Norman's story

It’s examples like Norman that really show how things have to change. Norman cares for his wife Ros, who has multiple sclerosis:

'I was trying to work and provide care for Ros but three years in I couldn’t cope and my health fell apart. I was depressed and at the point of walking away.

'Trying to get the help I needed became a full time occupation alongside my actual job. To say that it’s a struggle is an understatement.'

Sadly, Norman’s story is not uncommon, as shown in our campaign report, Care in Crisis: What's next for social care?

opens link in new windowDownload the report: What's next for social care? (PDF, 819KB)

The Care Bill has the potential to make a tremendous difference

The Care Bill is a big achievement and has the potential to make a tremendous difference for older people who need care and support. But this is only one piece of the puzzle.

Unless the Government commits to properly fund the social care system, the measures in the Care Bill designed to help people will fall short and will be a missed chance to solve the care crisis once and for all.

The Government has made some big steps in the right direction. Now it needs to finish the journey and help people like Norman.

Read Age UK’s joint briefing with the Care and Support Alliance on the Care Bill and care funding.

opens link in new windowDownload the joint briefing (PDF, 202KB)

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  1. July

    17th Sep 2014 I used Rogaine Foam for about 4 months. It was good on my hair and did not irtraite my scalp like other products. I used it nightly rather than 2 x daily because I have sensitive skin. I decided that it was not better than the minoxidil formula I was using, but I was pretty good.
  2. Sairaj

    14th Sep 2014 I bow down humbly in the presence of such grassnete.
  3. Ila

    13th Sep 2014 Negin می‌گه:Migam shomaha chera gir dadin be 2khtara? besadt avardane shomare 2khtare hamsaye ! ya'ani pesara vojood nadaran? akh joon, donya bi pesar shod. pas ma 2khtara hich ghoseei nadarim.
  4. Haldi

    10th Sep 2014 I totally agree with Mr. Nuqul ptvipecesre specially that one hand does not clap alone, therefore if the Public sector collaborates with Private sectors we will for sure raise a generation of giving population instead of simply consumers without real added value to the society.
  5. Lolotte

    8th Sep 2014 i strongly beelvie in Mr. Ghassan's concept and i thank him for the article.such a concept can result in unique challanges, however, the ability to bring about the positive change to people and its community can be enormously satisfying and provide means and the understanding for the new generation of making a living. God Bless
  6. Htce

    6th Sep 2014 If you're looking to buy these arecilts make it way easier.
  7. Nick

    27th Aug 2014 Is there any president in UK Law of age discrimination when it comes down to adult health and social care? I am caring for my Grandmother who has broken her neck (luckily not paralyzed) but she suffers from black outs which is also the cause of the accident. I am a qualified support worker and I know that an adult of working age in the same situation would not be neglected as she receives only half an hour "care" (it is actually an assessment) in the morning where they help her with some personal care. Everything else has been left to me for which I am receiving no income as I can't leave her on her own for too long for fear of her falling/fainting again. I may be entitled to Carer's Allowance after she (hopefully) gets awarded Attendance Allowance. However, I cannot afford to live off £60-£100 a week - it simply does not cover my outgoings. If my Grandma had no relatives to help and support her I dread to think what would happen.
  8. Michael Bricknell

    7th Aug 2014 I agree that this is a disgrace. Older people were promised a better system under the Labour Government, but arguments as to what to do meant that legislation was delayed, and the present Government is dragging its feet, even with the present Care Bill.
  9. Marcos

    26th Jul 2014 Deep thought! Thanks for corunibtting.
  10. Will

    21st Jul 2014 I'm not sure which of the DoH legislation on plaionressation in social care applies to the UK as a whole or to England and Wales, or to England.]Ive tried to find out from the DoH website with no success.Can you enlighten me please?
  11. Luan

    6th Jul 2014 同意好康兄所說 貪腐瀆職是很有可能的 但現時還沒有證據 所以很難說 執法不嚴 我倒不大同意 衛生部或質檢總局跟著會如何執法 刑事起訴 撤除免檢資格或禁售等等 還有待觀察 現在首先碰到的問題其實不是執法不嚴 而是延遲執法 早該回收的拖到現在才回收 當然 好康兄可能覺得我在咬文嚼字 因為廣義而言 延遲執法也是執法不嚴的一種 但我想強調的其實是普通法入面一個概念 就是 "juticse delayed is juticse denied" 內地雖不是行普通法 但我覺得有關官員如果能理解這個概念的話 便不會搞到如斯田地了
  12. HIlary Gadd

    4th May 2014 My 92 year old mother is paying for her care in a nursing home. Origianlly she needed residential care, now she has more nursing needs . We chose a dual registered home, but this one cannot meet her changing needs - no facilities for a hoist bath, 3 bathrooms are not in use, just used for storage facilities. She has not bathed since August 2013.
    A recent outbreak of scabies has occurred which does not reflect well on the cleanliness & hygiene of the home.
    I have little or no redress under the terms & conditions of her contract to say the are breaking their side of the deal by not meeting her needs.
    As she is relaint on WSCC to "top-up" her fees under the deferred payment scheme moving her to a home nearer me is "a challenge". Self funder she might be but I have to start with homes that take local authority funding - this limits the options. To get a "spot contract" will take goodwill on the part of the home & a great deal of time, which is something Mum does not have.
    Unless the government diverts overseas aid funding & injects more money into the social care system to misquote the mobile phone company advert "The future is not bright its dark & foreboding."