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1.2m older people don’t get the social care they need

Published on 17 November 2016 12:01 AM

The number of older people in England who don't get the social care they need has soared to a new high of 1.2 million - up by a staggering 48% since 2010.

The analysis by Age UK finds that since 2010, 383,900 more people aged 65 or over are now living with some level of unmet need.

This means nearly 1 in 8 older people are struggling without the help they need to carry out essential everyday tasks, such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet, washing and getting dressed.

Over 696k older people get no help at all

Among the 1.2 million, Age UK's analysis shows that 696,500 older people do not receive any help at all, from either paid carers or family and friends, and that a further 487,400 receive some help but not enough, often because help is only available at particular times of day or their carers are only able to manage some tasks but not others.

Furthermore, it's particularly shocking that nearly a quarter (291,400) of older people with unmet needs have difficulty with three or more essential tasks; this is nearly half (45.5%) of all those who reported needing help at that level - even worse, 52,700 of them receive no help whatsoever.

Who doesn't get the help they need?

The numbers for older people who don't receive the help they need with specific daily tasks are as follows:

  • 535,300 (43.1%) of the 1,243,300 people aged 65+ who struggle to wash/get in the bath don't get the care they need.
  • 222,600 (47.1%) of the 472,600 who have difficulty going to the toilet don't receive the care they need.
  • 343,500 (47.8%) of the 718,600 who find it hard to get out of bed on their own do not receive the help they need.
  • 125,100 (44.4%) of the 281,500 who find it hard to eat on their own do not receive the help they need.
  • 797,400 (51.2%) of the 1,557,000 who find it hard to get dressed on their own do not receive the help they need.
  • 240,500 (42%) of the 572,500 who find it difficult to walk across a room on their own do not receive the help they need.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: 'It is shameful that more than one in every eight older people in this country are now living with some level of unmet need for care, and we are extremely worried about the quarter of a million older people with multiple unmet care needs, struggling alone: how many of them are constantly in and out of hospital because they are unable to cope at home?'

'The sad irony is that it would be far more cost effective, as well as infinitely more humane, to give these older people the care and support they need. All this adds up to a compelling case for giving social care the priority it deserves in the Government's forthcoming Autumn Statement. It is high time the Government acts.'

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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