Day to day tasks that many of us take for granted – like getting dressed, using the toilet, making a meal, or getting to the shops – can be almost impossible for many older people without help. Older people should be able to live well, not just survive, and the right care and support can help them do this.
Right now, more than 1 million older people are left to struggle by each day without any support. And this number is growing all the time.
This is a silent disgrace that is being repeated up and down the country, in each town and city, on every street.
Ferocious cuts to funding for care at home mean that many older people are sacrificing their dignity because they can’t get the support they need.
This is because unlike your GP or local hospital, services to help people stay safe and independent at home are mainly arranged by local councils, whose budgets have been severely cut.
Spending on services like home carers, meals on wheels, and day care has dropped by more than £1 billion in the last five years.
This is having a huge knock-on effect on the NHS, where each year more and more older people are finding themselves trapped in hospital for days or even weeks, despite being well enough to leave, simply because there isn’t support available for them in their community.
The numbers don’t add up. And with an ageing population the problem will only get worse unless we, all of us, act to change things.
Earlier this year the Government announced it was not going to implement the lifetime cap on care costs, which would have cost around £6bn to implement. Age UK reluctantly agreed this was the right approach, but only if that £6bm is re-invested in the social care system.
More than 53,000 of you signed our Don't Cut Care petition, calling on the Chancellor to urgently invest in care for older people as part of the 2015 Spending Review. This sent a massive signal to the Government that care for older people matters.
The Spending Review is happening at the end of November, and so we will soon find out just if there will be any more investment in care for older people. We will update these pages on the next steps for the campaign, or you can visit the Age UK blog for more detail on what the Spending Review means for social care.