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Health and Social Care Crisis

Age UK has released its latest report (Oct 2015) on the health and care of older people in England.

The latest Age UK research has identified a certain number of major and increasing concerns.

 

- The population is ageing, which means we are living longer and there are more older people as a proportion of us all; between 2005/06 and 2014/15 the number of people aged 65 or over in England increased by almost a fifth and the number aged 85 and over rose by approaching a third.  

 

- The increase in the older population is projected to accelerate over the next twenty years. - Disability-free life expectancy is rising more slowly than life expectancy – the length of time we are likely to live - meaning that people are living for more years with disabilities.

 

- There are big inequalities both in terms of how long we are likely to live (life expectancy) and in how well people are likely to be in older age (disability-free life expectancy), mirroring broader social and economic trends.

 

- Most people aged 75 and over have one or more health conditions, but 50 per cent of them do not consider themselves to be living with a ‘life limiting’ long-term condition, meaning that even if they have one or more health conditions they do not feel it has a significant impact on their lives.

 

- 1 in 10 of people age 65 and over are ‘frail’, rising to one in four of those aged 85 and over.

 

- Most long-term conditions are more prevalent among older age groups; for example, the prevalence of diabetes rises steadily among men and women until their early eighties, peaking at 22 per cent for men and 17 per cent for women.

 

- The rate of falls also increases with age; women are more likely to fall than men and in 2014, among those aged 85 to 89 nearly a quarter of men and a third of women had a fall in the last five years. Many falls are preventable and were osteoporosis to be identified and treated better it is estimated that a quarter of all hip fractures could be avoided.

 

- The prevalence of dementia is very low (0.3 per cent) for both men and women aged 60-64 and only four per cent for 75 to 79 year olds, but then rises sharply to more than one in four among women aged 95 to 99, and to one in five for men of the same age.

 

 - It has been estimated by the Kings Fund that NHS spending has to increase by between 3 per cent and 6 per cent a year to keep pace with rising demand and the cost of new technology; in fact, in real terms, since 2010/11 NHS funding has increased by an average of 0.8 per cent a year.

 
These statistics are due to worsen in the coming years which poses a very real threat to the support that older people recieve and older people themselves.

 
Age UK's across the nation are campaigning to prevent any more cuts.