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Author: Age UK
Published on 17 March 2017 12:01 AM

Over the winter period, Age UK saw a significant increase in calls to its national advice line from older people and their families seeking help.

  • 54,000 people phoned Age UK for help and information on a range of issues
  • Residential care was the most frequent reason for getting in touch
  • Concern peaks over Christmas holidays when family members often get together with older relatives

12 per cent rise in calls from older people

Age UK's advice line is a free helpline which provides information and support for those in later life 365 days a year.

During the winter period, we answered a total of 54,000 calls from people needing support with problems like paying for care, care assessments, hospital discharge and benefits checks.

This was an eight per cent rise in total calls from the previous year, with the vast majority of calls - nearly 37,000 - from older people themselves, an increase of 12 per cent on the previous year.

Holiday season makes families take notice

For many, Christmas is a time for visiting older family members, which leads to an increase in calls.

People often notice a big difference in the health or circumstances in an older relative if they haven't seen them for a while which can lead to concern. Age UK saw a 32 per cent increase in calls to the advice line from adult children over Christmas 2016 compared to the year before.

What tops the list of enquiries?

Needing advice on care is the biggest reason for making a call for Age UK. Our level 2 advisors, who handle longer, more complex enquiries, most frequently answer questions on residential care, paying for nursing care, and arranging care assessments.

The top 5 issues (in order) that generated calls to the Age UK advice line over winter were:

  1. Residential care
  2. Health and disability
  3. Legal advice
  4. Non-residential care
  5. Money benefits

Needing advice?

Our website provides information and advice on issues such as money matters, legal issues, health, wellbeing and more.

Alternatively, call Age UK 365 days a year from 8am - 7pm on 0800 169 6565.

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081