Government pledges to address social care challenges
Published on 16 December 2016 04:00 PM
Following the release of statistics around the number of older people with unmet care needs, Age UK looks at the latest Government plans to address the country's significant social care gap.
- The Health Survey for England report highlighted high levels of unmet needs for care, which increased with age
- In response, the government has announced extra funding to provide care
- Age UK's Charity Director has questioned whether this funding will go far enough.
The shocking level of unmet care needs
This week, the annual Health Survey for England was released, which investigates changes in the health and lifestyles of people living in the UK.
The report showed that levels of unmet need increased with age. 37% of men and 60% of women aged 85 and over had some unmet need with at least one ADL (activity of daily living, i.e. an unmet need such as getting dressed or going to the toilet).
It also found that 26% of men and 31% of women had some unmet need for help with at least IADL (instrumental activity of daily living).
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK commented on the report's findings, saying:
"It is vital that a permanent solution is found to the funding crisis affecting the care of our older population... many are struggling without help to carry out fundamental daily tasks like washing or cooking and without support they are surely at far greater risk of becoming seriously unwell so it's no wonder our hospitals are permanently full."
The government response
Following these statistics, the Government has pledged to find a solution to the growing care problem. It has announced extra funding for social care, but Age UK has raised questions about this, given the scale of the care crisis.
About the government announcement, Age UK's Caroline Abrahams responded:
"Any additional money for older people's care has to be viewed as good news but will make little practical difference to most older people.
"We hope the Government will permit councils to raise council tax to pay for more social care next year but really this would be a wholly inadequate response to the multiple problems now engulfing older people's care.
"A national Government initiative to put older people's care on a sustainable financial footing cannot happen too soon."